Thunder's Eric Maynor has to do more than beat out Reggie Jackson

Backup point guard battle complicated by Maynor's contract, which is up next summer.
By John Rohde Published: October 5, 2012
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photo - Eric Maynor has his photograph taken during media day for the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA basketball team at the Thunder Events Center in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 1, 2012.  Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Eric Maynor has his photograph taken during media day for the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA basketball team at the Thunder Events Center in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

The mixture of Maynor coming back and Jackson breaking out has created an intriguing tango at training camp.

"That spot is open," Brooks said, "and we have two great choices."

Maynor and Jackson insist their competition is no different from a year ago.

“We're going to compete every day,” Maynor said. “At the end of the day, Scott is going to be the one who calls that shot.”

Beating out freakish Russell Westbrook for OKC's starting point guard position appears to be impossible, although don't tell Maynor.

“Anybody out there is competition. I'm competing with Russ every day,” Maynor said with conviction.

On a couple of occasions at key moments in 2009-10 and 2010-11, Brooks benched Westbrook in favor of Maynor.

Adding to the awkwardness of Maynor vs. Jackson is the fact they compared game observations while riding the bench four straight months, sharing ideas with each other and coaches from March through June.

No big deal, Maynor insists. That's how it should happen.

“If I see somebody doing something (wrong) and they should be doing something different, I'm going to tell him, and that's vice versa,” Maynor said. “We're going to push each other every day.”

Maynor has received rave reviews at camp from teammates, some claiming he “looks like the old Eric.” Harden flashed a wide smile discussing Maynor, a third-year-player out of Virginia Commonwealth.

“He looks like he never left,” Harden said. “He's looking very good. He's playing well. He's playing hesitation-free with his floater, great passes. It looks like he's ready to go.”

A second-year player out of Boston College, Jackson has flashes of athleticism that compare to Westbrook, which included an eye-opening dunk over Utah Jazz shot blocker Jeremy Evans while driving down the lane in Orlando.

“Reggie's really improved his game. He's confident,” Brooks said. “It's a learning curve in this league and sometimes it takes longer than others (for) some players. I thought they both came back in great spirits, good shape and the last two days have been very competitive.”


MAYNOR VS. JACKSON

Backup point guard Eric Maynor played 55 games for the Thunder as a rookie in 2009-10 after being acquired in a trade with the Utah Jazz on Dec. 22, 2009.

Reserve point guard Reggie Jackson played 45 games for the Thunder as a rookie in 2011-12 after being selected 24th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft.

As both players battle for the backup role to All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook this season, here is a look at the rookie stats of Maynor and Jackson:

MAYNOR (6-foot-3, 175)

G, MIN, FG, 3FG, FT, REB, AST, ST, TO, PTS

55, 16.5, .434, .362, .692, 1.7, 3.4, 0.5, 1.0, 4.5

JACKSON (6-foot-3, 208)

45, 11.1, .321, .210, .862, 1.2, 1.6, 0.6, 0.8, 3.1

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