The Detroit Pistons’ fears have been realized. According to reports, Brandon Jennings suffered a torn left achilles in last night’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks and will miss the remainder of the season.
The lefty point guard indicated the severity his injury on twitter earlier today:
Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News confirmed the obvious just several minutes later:
Jennings suffered the injury during the third quarter of Saturday’s game while pressuring Brandon Knight in the backcourt. Though enough testing hadn’t been performed to determine the full extent of his injury, the Pistons were hardly optimistic in the post-game locker room. And considering his team’s reaction coupled with video of the injury, neither were we:
DJ Augustin will likely start in Jennings’ stead. Though the former Chicago Bull is a very capable reserve, he lacks the playmaking dynamism that Jennings so ably provided Detroit during its surge over the past month. And as always when a core player is injured, there’s concerns related to Stan Van Gundy’s rotation – who will emerge as Augustin’s backup while Jennings is sidelined? Seldom-used rookie Spencer Dinwiddie is the only point guard-type on the active roster other than Augustin.
Does this doom the Pistons’ playoff chances? It would be foolish to count out a Van Gundy team, especially considering its excellent play since late December. But Jennings was the catalyst for Detroit’s stark improvement as much as anyone else, and Augustin simply lacks the juice to replicate the 25 year-old’s recent performance. The Pistons, basically, will have to make major adjustments to maintain their current pace in Jennings’ absence.
However, the dispiriting quality of the Eastern Conference middle class likely means they won’t have to. Detroit is just one and-a-half games back of eighth-place as of Sunday afternoon, and the Brooklyn Nets are struggling while the Charlotte Hornets deal with Kemba Walker’s nagging knee injury. The Pistons might not be quite done yet.
Regardless, here’s hoping Jennings is full healthy in time for the start of 2015-2016. He’d begun to realize his immense natural talent over the past month, and deserves the chance to do so for a full season before his contract expires next summer.
What do you think?
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