Season in Review: #15 Reggie Jackson
By Nick Gallo | Thunder Basketball Writer
The blood, sweat and tears that are shed for eight straight months are shared, so when a season ends, it’s tough to leave teammates and staff for the summer.
Reggie Jackson cherishes the time he spent with the team this season, anxiously awaiting the next time he’ll be able to go to battle in a game with this group again in the fall. With the NBA schedule and routine, teammates become like family because of the time they spend together, so Jackson doesn’t take for granted the relationships and bonds that have been built in the Thunder’s locker room.
“We normally compete to see who can be first to the gym and last one to leave,” Jackson said. “You kind of have your groups that you go to the cold tub with, get massages and lift. You spend so much time around the group of guys and just work day-in and day-out to be the last one standing.”
Every year, Jackson has increased his role with the Thunder and also his skill level. Two years ago, Jackson was playing with the Thunder’s D-League affiliate, the Tulsa 66ers. Last year, Jackson went from the third point guard to the backup to the starter in the playoffs. This season his role fluctuated between backup point guard and starter due to injury to Russell Westbrook and lineup shifts, but throughout it all, Jackson produced.
In many ways, this was a breakout season for Jackson, who averaged career bests with 13.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game in 28.5 minutes per contest during the regular season. In the playoffs, Jackson had a crucial 32-point outing in a much-needed Game 4 overtime victory in round one against the Memphis Grizzlies, and ended up shooting 39.6 percent from the three-point line during the postseason.
Heading into the summer, Jackson’s main goals for himself are on the defensive end and the consistency with which he contributes each night. On defense, he believes with the right mindset he can keep his man in front of him every game. On offense, Jackson hopes to add a midrange game to his already impressive touch around the basket and improving three-point range.
“All the great ones in this game, especially the perimeter guys, find a midrange game and find how to always be aggressive, but when to get off the ball and when not to, and to find the open man,” Jackson said. “I’m going to continue to watch film and find ways to pick and choose spots.”