Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Reggie Jackson, Thunder Don't Miss a Beat

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Reggie Jackson is proving to be serviceable for the Thunder. After Eric Maynor tore his right ACL, the Thunder looked to have a hole at the backup point. Insert rookie Reggie Jackson. Reggie Jackson hasn't been off the walls, but he's been sound in his limited minutes.

Reggie Jackson is one of the luckiest 24th picks in a while. There's been some nice (number six and four on that list) 24th picks too! Put yourself in Reggie Jackson's shoes. You come to a stacked Thunder team, where there's two PG's ahead of you. Clearly, you're not going to play a bunch. Then, after you get a short training camp and some practice time under your belt, see how the actual games feel, you get a shot. I'd be ecstatic!

Reggie Jackson isn't playing as much as Maynor (four minutes less on average; 11 mins), but his ability to grasp the NBA is way up from where it was. Sure, in practice and observation of games, players can pick up some of the nuances. The way each player puts his own stamp on games won't be established without game action. The rookie mistakes can't happen. Older players (who aren't on your team in practice) can't use their basketball IQ's to take advantage of you.

Reggie Jackson is performing better than expected. He's quick, nice off the dribble, and not a negative. His three point shooting is lacking (21%, here's a breakdown of how's he shooting on different areas of the court), but that's something he's surely working on. No, Reggie Jackson's stats aren't great or anything. Nothing special (3.5 PPG, 1.3 assists a game), but what counts is what you can't see numerically. Reggie Jackson is clearly not a hurtle to the Thunder attack. He makes plays for himself and for others. He runs the ball, he maintains the flow.

For a rookie thrust into a backup position, he's been solid. What more could OKC ask for? Reggie Jackson will continue to get better as he gets more games under his belt. Expect him to work on his shot, increase his assist numbers.

How's Reggie Jackson played in your mind?

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