OKC Thunder: Taking stock of Reggie Jackson's season

by Berry Tramel and Darnell Mayberry and Anthony Slater Published: June 12, 2014
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The Oklahoman’s staff writers discuss three topics surrounding Reggie Jackson:

1. Reggie Jackson's third season in the NBA was ...

Darnell Mayberry (beat writer) — Eventful. He went from starting point guard to sixth man to starting point guard to sixth man to starting shooting guard. He had ups and downs along the journey, but in staying humble in his successes and focused in his struggles, he revealed a lot about who he is and where he is going in this league. Can’t wait to see what he does next year, when he should finally find comfort in his fourth season.

Anthony Slater (beat writer) — A roller coaster. A few weeks in, Jackson was already being pumped as the leading candidate for Sixth Man of the Year. After Christmas, Russell Westbrook’s injury forced him into an extended stint in the starting lineup. The Thunder played well, but Jackson’s severe defensive struggles surfaced during that transition. Then he converted back to a bench role, experiencing a few shooting slumps and a rocky postseason run. But through it all, Jackson emerged as the fourth most important player for this franchise.

Berry Tramel (columnist) — Extremely productive. Jackson's minutes per game rose from 14.2 to 28.5. His points per game went from 5.3 to 13.1. His 3-point shooting percentage went from .231 to .339. His assists went from 1.7 to 4.1. So while Jackson's minutes doubled, his production far more than doubled. Jackson became a big-time NBA player this season. The clear No. 4 player on the squad.

2. Should the Thunder start Reggie Jackson next season?

Mayberry — Not if they can help it. That’s not a knock on Jackson. It’s a call for Sam Presti to go get a real starting shooting guard. Jackson is not that. He’s a point guard, and on this team he’s needed more off the bench.

Slater — It’s an idea that some are lukewarm on, but I don’t hate it. If the Thunder can deal for an Arron Afflalo type, sure, start the veteran. But if the best upgrade option out there, through free agency or the draft, is a bench guy (example: Mike Miller) or a point guard (example: Shabazz Napier), why not shift Jackson to the starting lineup? From a position standpoint, the league is no longer traditional. Let Jackson start, stagger rotations and always have him or Westbrook on the court, giving one of your best players more minutes.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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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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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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