As they often are, the Oklahoma City Thunder were an active team around the NBA Trade Deadline, making two trades at a relatively quiet deadline. One of those deals was to send guard Eric Maynor to the Portland Trail Blazers. By making that trade, the Thunder were essentially saying that second-year player Reggie Jackson would be their back-up point guard for the remainder of the season.
For the season, Jackson has played solidly in his limited opportunities. In just 12.4 minutes per game, he’s averaged 4.6 points and 1.6 assists per game while shooting 47.4 percent from the field. He’s shot poorly from long-range on the season, posting just a 27.7 percent three-point percentage, but that wasn’t too much of a worry for Oklahoma City.
Since Jackson has been the primary back-up to Russell Westbrook, he’s shined even more. In the eight games since Maynor was traded, Jackson has averaged 15.6 minutes per game. In that time, he’s averaged 7.6 points and two assists per game. On top of increasing those averages, he’s also posted a field-goal percentage of 55.6 and a three-point percentage of 38.5 percent. As the Thunder instilled their confidence in Jackson, he has played with more confidence and it has yielded positive results.
Barring injuries, Jackson is never going to be asked to carry a huge scoring-load with Westbrook and Kevin Durant starting and Kevin Martin playing alongside him off the bench. If Jackson can simply come into the game and keep control of the contest while playing smartly and efficiently, he’s doing what the Thunder need. In that case, OKC has to be happy that they stuck with Jackson, because that’s exactly how he’s been playing since the Maynor trade.