Oklahoma City Thunder: Reggie Jackson gives OKC a spark, but is he being underused?

Since the trade that sent Eric Maynor to Portland last month, Jackson has emerged as a versatile weapon off the bench. The question now is why are Jackson's minutes still so sporadic?
by Darnell Mayberry Published: March 25, 2013

Still, it seems Jackson is being underused.

“I think he's improving, there's no question,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said of Jackson. “He still has a lot of things that he will continue to get better at. But I think he's done a good job of working with our coaches and improving day to day. But he's in a good position. He's on a good team. And he's going to get better but he's not going to get a lot of time right now. But I think what he's done with his time he's made the most of it and he's going to continue to improve. Just playing behind Russell (Westbrook) there's not a lot of minutes.”

In his limited opportunities over the past 15 games, Jackson has averaged 6.7 points on 46.4 percent shooting. He's added 2.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists over that same span. While he continues working to develop a reliable jump shot, Jackson is making a living in the lane.

According to NBA.com/stats, Jackson is shooting 70.6 percent inside the restricted area. When combined with his connection rate in the paint beyond the restricted area, Jackson is shooting 65.1 percent in the lane.

More impressively, Jackson is excelling at creating his own shot, giving the Thunder a crafty third ballhandler to complement Westbrook and Durant. It's something the Thunder hasn't had since losing James Harden to Houston.

Seventy-five percent of Jackson's shots in the restricted area have been unassisted, while 90.5 percent of his shots in the paint behind the restricted area have been unassisted. Those numbers put Jackson on par with Westbrook as a shot creator, though the sample size is considerably smaller. But they are figures that illustrate how the second-year point guard has progressed at picking his spots, finding the right balance of when to attack and when to pull back and set up teammates.

“He's just being confident,” Westbrook said. “Everybody always has room to grow. But he's done a good job of just being confident and playing his game.”


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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