The Oklahoma City Thunder were in trouble last night trailing to the New Orleans Hornets for most of the game.
It was their first game in three days and they didn’t look quite into the game. The precision on offense wasn’t there and a hungry Hornets team was looking to pull off a major upset on the road.
OKC needed a spark and head coach Scott Brooks turned to his bench in search of one. It came in the form of second year point guard Reggie Jackson.
Jackson came in for an 11-minute stretch beginning at the end of the third quarter and gave the Thunder just what they needed to win the game. He hit a three right after checking in, played with tons of energy and helped OKC win the game.
It was a big time game from Jackson who might start to see more minutes now after come in and doing his job perfectly last night.
The Thunder aren’t exactly thriving in the backup point guard department this season as Eric Maynor has really struggled so far this year. Maynor is playing 13.4 minutes per game this year, shooting 31.0 percent from the field and averaging 3.8 points and 2.3 assists.
Before the season started, Brooks said that the backup point guard job was an open battle between Maynor in Jackson. He also said recently that he’s not looking to change anything rotation-wise as long as the team keeps winning.
Last night may make Brooks rethink that as Jackson could prove to be a better option than Maynor, at least at times.
Jackson is a far better athlete who can impact the game more on defense. He’s not nearly as good of a distributor which could be a problem but it’s not as if Maynor is thriving in that area anyway.
Jackson can create more for himself off the dribble which in time will translate into creating for others as well. If he starts getting more run now, maybe that time will come this season.
Chances are, Brooks isn’t going to overhaul anything right now. He will probably stick with the same rotation consisting of Maynor as the backup point. Maybe he will give Jackson a few more chances but it will probably be instead of extra Thabo Sefolosha minutes rather than replacing Maynor.
It’s a good sign for the Thunder that at the end of their bench, they can find a player when the team is in need to come in and provide a much needed spark.