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Josh Jackson loves his big chance in Detroit

Newest Detroit Piston Josh Jackson spoke with media Wednesday afternoon about the team’s potential and his fresh start. 

There was quite the buzz when news broke that the Detroit Pistons signed Josh Jackson to a one-year deal.

Part of the buzz stemmed from Jackson returning to the city his mother raised him in. The former Kansas Jayhawk attended Consortium College Prep school in Detroit, where he played basketball for his freshman and sophomore years.

The other part of the buzz came from the untapped potential that Jackson has yet to have a chance to showcase fully. 

While speaking with the media Wednesday afternoon, Jackson alluded to this notion and more. And for Pistons fans who wonder what role he will have on the team, the expectation is for him to play primarily as a shooting guard or small forward.

“Recently, I’ve been playing a lot of the two [guard], but you know the way the NBA is going, the two and three-position are very interchangeable”, said Jackson.

“Those two positions are asked to do a lot as we all know, so [it’s] nothing I don’t think I can’t handle, but I’ve been going back and forth between the two and three, learning both positions. It’s been going pretty good.”

In his own words, Jackson struggled to start his career because he was playing out of position.

Over the past few seasons, Jackson has played the small/power forward (SF/PF) positions primarily. While he notes the two and three are interchangeable, playing PF was a bit difficult for him.

“When you get down to the four [PF], it gets a little harder. You’re guarding bigger guys, you’re setting more screens…that was really tough for me, especially my first couple of years”, said Jackson.

“Physically, I was just so far behind everybody. I think my rookie year, my second game of the season, I found myself playing the four, and I’m guarding Blake Griffin. And I was just struggling the whole night. That definitely inspired me to get in the gym and get a little bit stronger.”

Josh Jackson, then with the Phoenix Suns, guarding his new teammate Blake Griffin, who was Los Angeles Clipper at the time. Jackson famously said, “I’m f–cking guarding Blake Griffin. And I’m barely 200 pounds.”

Jackson went on to say there’s room for improvement. He’s not in the physical shape he envisions for himself. Along with that, he’s looking to add more weight and become stronger over time.

Playing with “something to prove” is a motivating factor.

One takeaway from Jackson’s presser were his views on where the Pistons are as a team right now. He says that the team is really versatile, and it’s a group of guys that can guard and play multiple positions on offense. 

Jackson also mentions that Jerami Grant has improved his shot tremendously, along with his ball-handling skills. And just Pistons head coach Dwane Casey, Jackson credits the leadership of Derrick Rose for the team’s development in training camp.

“We just have to find our identity, and that’ll make it a lot easier”, said Jackson.

“Everybody just has something to prove and wants to do good. The organization has something to prove.”

You can follow Kory Woods on Twitter @ KoryEWoods or Instagram @kory.woods.

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