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Oklahoma City Thunder: Backup point guard spot still up for grabs

Reggie Jackson gets the start Friday against Utah. Russell Westbrook gets the night off.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: October 12, 2012

Reggie Jackson made his first ever start Friday in place of Russell Westbrook, who got the night off against the Utah Jazz to rest.

But coach Scott Brooks insists that Jackson's current playing time isn't at all indicative of how the battle for the backup point guard spot will play out. In the team's exhibition opener on Thursday against Houston, Jackson played the primary backup role ahead of Eric Maynor, who was expected to resume his duties as the lead backup now that he has fully healed from an ACL injury last year.

“It's just that he's in the rotation first,” Brooks said of Jackson. “Eric's going to get a chance to start. It's not because of rust or (Maynor) needs time to rest or he has an injury. It's just I want to give guys a look and really see how they play with different units. Eric and Reggie have been very good.”

One possible solution to the dilemma is to play both Maynor and Jackson together, sliding Jackson off the ball to shooting guard. It's a strategy that, while intriguing, Jackson said hasn't played out so far in practices.

“They definitely keep preaching to me staying at (point guard),” Jackson said. “It's something I've been doing my whole life, but I'm just happy to have coaches that believe definitely now that that's my permanent position, my primary position.”

The contrasting styles of Maynor and Jackson could give that potential two-point-guard lineup a chance at success. Maynor is a more traditional, pass-first guard, while Jackson is more explosive and better and creating his own shot.

“It seems like a new thing going around in the league,” Jackson said. “I don't think there's too many problems from playing two point guards. Denver, they do a great job with it. Whoever gets it goes and calls the sets. It doesn't bother me. Whatever it takes to get this team a win.”

With shooting guard James Harden sidelined with a groin injury, Brooks said there's a good chance Maynor and Jackson will soon play at the same time.

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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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