“I personally felt like they were attacking me,” Jackson said.
To his credit, Jackson owned up to his defensive lapses. He shouldered the blame and didn’t mince words.
“Gregg Popovich could’ve thrown on a jersey, and if I was guarding him, either he would’ve had a hockey assist or a basket,” Jackson said postgame. “I did a (expletive) poor job tonight.”
At Friday’s practice, after a day to stew on it, Jackson remained frustrated with his defensive showing.
“Film confirmed it,” Jackson said. “Still pretty (ticked) at myself ... Doesn’t really matter what I do offensively. It’s easy to give effort on the offensive end, but I really pride myself on being able to stop my man and didn’t really do so.”
Jackson will remain in the starting lineup. His playmaking ability overshadows any potential defensive worry. And he’s been far from the Thunder’s only defensive problem in the three blowout losses in San Antonio.
But for the Thunder to find a way to pull this series out, Jackson cranking up his defensive effort will be key. Because the Spurs are sure to test him.