The Los Angeles Clippers signed veteran swingman Stephen Jackson Wednesday in an effort to boost their depleted bench. The Clippers are dealing with a plethora of injuries and are hoping Jackson helps stop the bleeding. Jackson last played for the San Antonio Spurs but was waived a week before the playoffs. He is looking to put that incident in the past and start fresh with the Clippers.
The Clippers brought Jackson to Los Angeles for many reasons but mainly for his stature as a defensive specialist. He is a savvy defender who plays physically which is just the kind of player head coach Doc Rivers loves. He has a history of getting under his opponent’s skin and can shut down opposing wing players. He also has a history of having discrepancies with former coaches, but I don’t foresee that happening with Rivers. Jackson is thankful for the opportunity and Rivers is grateful to have him.
Though Jackson is known for his defense, he has also proven he can score, averaging 15 points per game over his career and shooting 41 percent from the field. He can hit the open jump shot or create for himself and has a knack for making the short corner three. Jackson can provide an offensive spark off the bench, particularly when Jamal Crawford is having an off night.
Besides his gritty defense, ability to hit big shots and overall toughness, Jackson brings something else to the table: championship experience. Jackson is the only Clipper with a championship ring, winning it in 2003 with the same team that waived him last season. Chris Paul is arguably the best point guard in the league and Blake Griffin is a rising superstar, but neither player has made it to the big stage. Jackson will bestow his wisdom and experience to a locker room that needs it.
Jackson will play his first game Wednesday night against the Boston Celtics. The Clippers have two more games left on their road trip before returning home to face the Spurs. You know Jackson will be ready for that one.