The Detroit Pistons have jumped out to a 14-12 record to start the 2015-16 NBA season, and point guard Brandon Jennings, a key reinforcement, is almost available for action.
According to Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago, Jennings has set the Dec. 29 matchup against the New York Knicks as his projected return date.
Pistons guard Brandon Jennings plans to make his season debut after Achilles surgery Dec 29 vs the Knicks at Madison Square Garden
— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) December 16, 2015
On Tuesday night, Detroit Bad Boys grabbed a screenshot of a Jennings tweet that read “D-League game Sunday.” He soon deleted the post, though there could be multiple reasons.
The franchise’s D-League squad, the Grand Rapids Drive, plays two games before Jennings’ projected return date, those being Saturday the 19th and Wednesday the 22nd. Detroit’s media relations team may also have advised the point guard to remove the tweet.
Regardless, Jennings is nearing his first appearance of the season after tearing his left Achilles in January. His return will also mark the first time he and Reggie Jackson have shared the Pistons backcourt.
Detroit acquired Jackson at the trade deadline and then locked him up with a five-year, $80 million agreement during the offseason. Conversely, Jennings has three-plus months to prove he deserves a new contract. The 26-year-old is in the final season of his current deal.
Jennings is expected to come off the bench, which will bolster a roster that heavily relies on the starting unit.
Andre Drummond, Ersan Ilyasova, Marcus Morris, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Jackson have logged 505 total minutes together, per NBA.com, while the go-to reserve lineup (that includes Morris) has recorded just 98.
Jennings and Jackson must learn to co-exist in certain lineups and situations, but having a primary ball-handler who is not just a distributor will aid the Pistons in their effort to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2009.