The Oklahoma City Thunder have only tinkered with one part of their rotation this season and that’s the backup point guard position.
Eric Maynor began the season as the team’s backup point guard but over the past week, the job has been second year pro Reggie Jackson’s.
Jackson is bringing something different to the floor than what Maynor did. He is far more athletic and head coach Scott Brooks sees him as a better defender that can aid in the versatility of the Thunder defense that they like to take advantage of.
Jackson has done a great job rebounding so far in the past few games and has even created for others fairly well too, nullifying any advantage Maynor would have over him by doing that.
But which point guard is the right fit for this Thunder team?
This is an important role for the Thunder who often need some sort of changeup in their ball handler from the 100 mph fastball Russell Westbrook is always bringing to the floor.
Last year, James Harden was essentially the backup point guard and was the team’s best playmaker and passer. This year, the hopes were that Maynor would return from injury and make up for what the Thunder were missing in Harden.
Maynor has been a disappointment so far shooting 31.3 percent from the floor and even struggling to handle pressure defense at times. Maynor was still pretty decent racking up assists averaging 6.6 per 36 minutes so far this season.
The passing and playmaking is an area where the Thunder don’t want to take a step back at. Last year, the Thunder were last in the league in assist ratio and turnover ratio. They have improved those numbers this year but swapping Maynor for Jackson could hurt that.
Jackson still has a lot to learn and isn’t a true point guard. He is a scoring point guard as seen by his dominance in the D-League this year. Another scoring point guard is not what the Thunder need right now.
Instead, the Thunder are hoping and relying on Jackson’s progression this year. He will be playing out of his element a little bit trying to set up more than score for himself. OKC could still use some scoring from the position and Jackson will try and do that as well, but the playmaking is far more important.
Being so close to a championship, you want to try and limit as many question marks as possible on your roster. Right now, the Thunder still have one in the backup point guard spot.
Is Jackson the answer? Will Maynor come along? Does Westbrook need to play 44 minutes a night?