Jackson has been a boost to a bench unit that has been forced to redefine itself this season. He's also added a third ball-handler alongside Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant who can create for himself and others.
But the playoffs are an entirely different beast.
Jackson has yet to play a single second of postseason basketball and there is no telling how the magnitude of the moment might affect him.
“I expect one heck of an experience,” Jackson said, seemingly unfazed at the thought.
He said he will manage the playoffs the same way he has managed the season. That includes playing relaxed and not putting pressure on himself to be perfect, something he has admitted to doing as a rookie.
“It's definitely a challenging position being a backup point guard,” Brooks said. “And in the playoffs we know everything is magnified. But I think he's done a good job of putting himself in the position to get better.”
Jackson won't have to look far for advice should he need it. His backcourt mate, Kevin Martin, was in the same position that Jackson is now. Like Jackson, Martin played only 45 games as a rookie. But he was called into action in the playoffs as a second-year player with Sacramento. Martin played six games in the 2006 playoffs, starting one, and averaged 13.2 points and five rebounds in 32.8 minutes.
“I think pressure is what you make of it,” Martin said. “To me, it was just another basketball game. I really didn't look into it too deep. You just go out there and play your game.”
That's what Jackson will try to do.
“I'm just ready to go and have fun, play and compete each game,” he said. “I'm just trying to get better. Whatever it takes for my team to win I'm just going to try to help them out and do my part.”