OKC Thunder GM Sam Presti: 'We're certainly pleased, but not content' with hot start

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER — Thunder general manager Sam Presti sat down with The Oklahoman's John Rohde to talk the Thunder's hot start, injured guard Eric Maynor and the rookie that's filling his spot, Reggie Jackson.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: January 14, 2012

"I'm certainly happy for Kendrick, but I'm not surprised because his body of work as an NBA player has been one of a no-frills competitor and a guy who gives you an honest day's work each time on the floor. There are a lot of guys who wouldn't have taken the floor last year not being as highly conditioned as he wanted to be (after knee surgery). That was a sign of his competitiveness."

What can you tell us about Eric Maynor? How is he holding up mentally after his season-ending knee injury?

"I think one of our greatest strengths as a team is the family atmosphere that's been cultivated over time by our players and how we stick with each other. Eric certainly has received an enormous amount of support from his teammates, his coaches, the community. Eric is one of the most strong-minded people I know. I think he'll certainly be tremendous as he comes back from this injury."

Losing Maynor for the season, will that affect anything you do with the team structurally?

"Certainly it's tough when you lose anybody on your team. By the same token, that's part of sports and this group has to move forward. We're confident in this group we have now, and that's why you have 15 players on a team."

Rookie point guard Reggie Jackson was thrown to the wolves having to replace Maynor. He missed training camp with a groin strain and a pulled lower abdominal and literally has had to learn on the fly.

"As we've seen with all young players who have come through our organization, there are going to be some ups and downs. How they manage those is an important evaluation point. Reggie's preparation, despite limited practice time and opportunity, has really helped put him in a position to try and manage those peaks and valleys. I think our coaching staff again deserves a lot of credit recognizing in a season like this you're going to need everybody."

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