Confidence: A. Jackson received the backup point guard reins on Dec. 20 and never looked back. He just grew surer of himself as the season went on. His issues last year included indecision, poor ball-handling, passiveness and streaky shooting. This year, Jackson began the process of overcoming each of those problems largely because he played with more self-assurance.
Ball-handling: B. Remember when Jackson would bring the ball up the court last year? It was nothing but nerve-racking. He was overprotective, almost to the point of being fearful. Not anymore. Jackson was much smoother with the ball in his hands and began blowing by pressing defenders rather than succumbing to their pressure. He still has a tendency to over-dribble, but Jackson made great strides with ball security. He turned it over just 1.9 times per 36 minutes in the regular season, down from 2.6 per 36 minutes as a rookie.
Shooting: C. There's still plenty of work to be done here. After shooting a dismal 32.1 percent as a rookie, Jackson connected on 45.8 percent from the field this season. But his 3-point percentage rose by only 2.1 percent, going from 21 percent to 23.1 percent. If he ever gets this part of his game down, watch out.
Rebounding: A. Jackson averaged just 2.4 rebounds, which doesn't sound great. But that figure doesn't tell the whole story since he logged only 14.2 minutes per game. A more telling stat is Jackson's six rebounds per 36 minutes, which led all point guards and ranked seventh among all guards. Jackson also led all point guards with a rebound percentage of 9.6, which is the percentage of missed shots that he rebounded. On the defensive end, he posted a 16.3 rebound percentage, which also led all point guards according to nba.com/stats. In other words, Jackson was the league's best defensive rebounding point guard this season.
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