And in his three games against the Spurs this season, Reggie Jackson has been equally as dynamic, putting up a combined 71 points on 30-of-45 shooting. Patty Mills has even less of a prayer than Parker.
“Reggie Jackson kicked our (butt),” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said earlier this season, calling him the difference in two of OKC’s three wins over San Antonio.
But for the Thunder, its recent inability to guard the 3-point line could serve as the factor that swings a lopsided series back in San Antonio’s favor.
In the past, OKC’s rare athleticism and freaky length has acted as a deterrent to the Spurs’ typically deadly 3-point success. More than other teams, the Thunder has been able to close out quicker, get a hand up higher and contest better. It’s a dash of kryptonite to an attack that relies almost solely on ball movement and open shots.
But that only applies when the Thunder defense is active, healthy and making the extra effort. Since the All-Star break, that consistently hasn’t been the case.
Good news for the Thunder: It usually reappears in big games.
And showdowns with the Spurs have always qualified in that category.
Another one comes Thursday, with another chance for the Thunder to put the kibosh on an extended Spurs streak.