Reggie Jackson trolls Jimmy Butler at the line
Detroit versus Minnesota was the game to watch on Sunday night. From Reggie Jackson’s impossible shot over the outstretched arms of Karl-Anthony Towns to Jimmy Butler’s heartbreaking late-game free throw, it was hard to take your eyes off the screen.
With Butler at the line, the Timberwolves had a golden opportunity to tie the game in it’s closing moments. Unfortunately, Reggie Jackson had other ideas and interrupted the flow of the game with some timely trolling.
As Butler lined up to take his second shot, Jackson intentionally crossed his path to give teammate Stanley Johnson an unnecessary high five which forced the refs to intervene. Although they restored order, the bizarre sequence clearly disrupted the superstar’s rhythm as his free throw danced on the rim and rolled off of the iron.
The three-time All-Star was arguably having his best game of the season up to that point, but his costly blunder took him from hero to zero. Despite missing the game’s most important shot, Butler posted an eye-popping stat line of 26 points, 10 boards, four assists, and five steals in the 100-97 loss.
So far, Butler’s first season with Minnesota has been rather underwhelming. While becoming the goat of the game is never fun, perhaps his strong showing was a sign of things to come.
Detroit trailed by as many as 11 points, but on the shoulders of Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson, the Pistons left Minnesota victorious. Drummond scored 20 points and snagged 16 rebounds and Jackson dropped nine of his total 16 points in the final frame.
Drummond and Jackson were essential to the win, but starters Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley’s 18 respective points gave Detroit the boost they needed on offense. The win snapped the T-Wolves three-game winning streak and ended their own two-game skid.
While Minnesota has largely failed to live up to the lofty expectations set for them in the offseason, the Pistons have overachieved by almost every measure. Detroit is off to their best start since the 2005-2006 season in which they reached the Eastern Conference Finals.
Even if they were to somehow sustain their current third place seeding into the 2018 playoffs, it’s hard to imagine they’d enjoy the same sort of success that their 2006 counterparts found. Making a deep playoff run isn’t entirely out of the question, but with the streaking Boston Celtics and rejuvenated Cleveland Cavaliers lurking, their chances of playing once June rolls around looks slim to none.
However, it’s the Eastern Conference and anything goes. It’s too early to say anything’s set in stone, but keep an eye on Detroit, they might just surprise us all.