Jackson was then asked where his comfort level is currently.
“Sky high,” he said.
A week ago, Jackson scored a NBA D-League high 37 points with nine rebounds and five assists while assigned to the Tulsa 66ers. That performance came one night after Jackson scored 27 points with seven rebounds and nine assists. The D-League named Jackson its Performer of the Week — which Jackson said was commemorated only with “a pat on the back” — and it only helped strengthen his self-assurance.
Jackson's task now, however, is a tricky one.
He must find a way to make an impact with limited minutes and less freedom. There was no Westbrook, Martin, Kevin Durant or Serge Ibaka in Tulsa. With the Thunder, Jackson has to play in a system and be solid rather than spectacular. It's a role that likely will suppress much of Jackson's natural gifts. But to play, and play well, it's up to Jackson to find the right balance.
“He's going to continue to get better, but that's not his job,” Brooks said. “As a point guard you have to understand your job. When he's playing in Tulsa, obviously he can do other things that we don't need him to do here and he's not going to be able to do here. He has to just focus on running the team, being a coach on the floor, setting the team up, knowing time, score, knowing who's hot, who's not (and) knowing what plays to call for certain players. And I think that's going to come with some time.
“He's like a lot of our guys. They're all a work in progress. But I thought the last couple of games he's been solid and hopefully he continues to improve in the way that he has improved in the last year and a half.”
MORE FROM NEWSOK
Thunder at Houston Rockets
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Toyota Center, Houston
TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma (Cox 37/HD 722, DirecTV 679, Dish, U-Verse 754/HD 1754).
Radio: WWLS 98.1-FM, WWLS 640-AM
Three things to know
* This is the second of three games the Thunder and Rockets will play this season. Oklahoma City defeated Houston 120-98 on Nov. 28 inside Chesapeake Energy Arena. Former Thunder guard James Harden was held to 17 points on 3-for-16 shooting in that game.
* After earning Player of the Month in November, Kevin Durant is averaging 31.5 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.9 blocks in December.
* Houston had won five straight prior to Friday's game at San Antonio.
* Rockets record and stats are through Thursday.