Thunder-Spurs: Reggie Jackson's new life as a starter hits the skids

COMMENTARY — The Spurs shut out Reggie Jackson for the final 25 minutes in Game 5, and the bench he left wasn’t much better in another Oklahoma City blowout loss in San Antonio.
by Jenni Carlson Published: May 30, 2014

Defense was definitely a problem. So good in Oklahoma City, it led to all kinds of transition opportunities and chances to set up the offense before the Spurs could get set.

Thursday night, those easier looks on the offensive end dried up because the Thunder wasn’t nearly as good on the defensive end.

“So, every time we came down, they were able to set up in their halfcourt defense,” Thunder big man Kendrick Perkins said. “With San Antonio, you’ve got to force turnovers, get stops, get out and run before they can set up on their end.

“We got stagnant, started holding the ball a little bit, trying to make the home-run plays. We’ve just got to get back to trusting each other.”

It’s hard for Durant and Westbrook to trust, though, when the rest of the guys on the court aren’t scoring it any better than they were Thursday night.

Here’s an eye-popping stat: the Spurs’ bench outscored the Thunder’s 54-26.

Listen, the Thunder bench is never going to be as productive offensively as the Spur bench now that Jackson is part of the starting lineup. He was the only bench player who could match what Manu Ginobili gives the Spurs off the bench. But still, the Thunder reserves can’t get out done like this.

Guys not named Durant and Westbrook don’t have to score 40 points, but having a few in double figures is critical.

Jackson was the only other player besides Durant and Westbrook to score in double figures Thursday night, but he finished with the 11 points that he had at the end of the first quarter. After the game, he took the blame for this loss, said it started with his poor defensive effort and bled over to what was happening on the offensive end.

“I was getting abused,” he said. “Turned it over, definitely did that. Once they started putting two on the ball, I was just trying to find my teammates to make the right play.”

Instead, things for Jackson and the rest of the sidekicks went from splash down to crash down.

So did the Thunder.

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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