OKC Thunder: Reggie Jackson continues to improve

Though it's early in the exhibition season, the third-year point guard is quickly proving himself as a capable replacement to injured star Russell Westbrook.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: October 14, 2013

But considering Jackson's relative inexperience, it's hard to argue against how much he's developed. Reigning Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard, for example, has played 1,673 minutes more than Jackson.

“That's the good thing about Reggie, he's in his third year and he's improved quite a bit the last couple of years,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “But we still need more improvement out of him. But he definitely will keep improving because he's a worker and he gets better.”

Much of Jackson's growth in the immediate future figures to come from playing against first-stringers. Because he's entering his third season, it's easy to lose sight of how Jackson's lack of playing time in his first 1 1/2 seasons prevented him from matching up against countless players.

Tuesday's potential matchup with lightning quick Nuggets starter Ty Lawson is one of those matchups. Over time, Jackson should become more familiar with opponents strengths and weaknesses, learning such things as how much foot speed an offensive player has and how much space his man needs to feel comfortable shooting.

For now, Jackson benefits from the same unfamiliarity offensively. Most defenders still aren't sure what Jackson is capable of. But as he makes his way through different teams, Jackson expects to better understand when and where to attack defenses.

“He still has a lot to learn,” Brooks said. “It's a tough position being a point guard in this league, but I think he's really matured into a good leader.”

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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