When you hear about the Oklahoma City Thunder, most would associate Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook with the No. 2 seed in the West. Well, with their back against the wall in a must-win game against the series leading Memphis Grizzlies, Reggie Jackson earned his stripes as a big game player for Oklahoma City.
In a series that has seen some rough patches for the Thunder, they went soul searching after a major let down in Game 3. A lack luster bench performance and uncharacteristic pace left the Thunder looking for someone to step up and provide an extra boost. Jackson and career-high 32 points proved to be just the boost that the Thunder needed to squeak past Memphis.
It was evident in the first three games that there was not enough production out of the role players surrounding Durant and Westbrook. It was like their teammates just sat back and watched the horror show that was forced action from their superstar duo. Jackson’s aggressive mindset was only the reason the Grizzlies did not take control of this series.
Despite the low offensive output of Westbrook and Durant, they were able to perform in other ways, such as rebounding. Durant was able to grab 13 boards to go along with his 15 points, and Westbrook was one rebound shy of a double-double, finishing with nine rebounds and 15 points as well.
The Thunder have this series wrapped up as they go back to Oklahoma City, but they must find more hero like Jackson in the form of role players if they want to solidify victory.