Found February 02, 2012 on Fox Sports Southwest:
Making the jump from the college basketball to the NBA can be a daunting challenge for any rookie and for Reggie Jackson it's no different. The Oklahoma City Thunder backup point guard was OKC's first-round pick (24th overall) in the 2011 NBA Draft after a solid collegiate career at Boston College. He came to a team considered one of the favorites to win the 2012 NBA title and considering he would be playing behind Thunder starting point man Russell Westbrook and talented backup Eric Maynor, his prospects for playing much as a rookie didn't appear very bright. But after Maynor tore his ACL earlier this season, Jackson immediately moved into the role as Westbrook's back-up and while he still doesn't see a ton of minutes, he is definitely making progress. In 15 games, he is averaging 3.7 points, 1.3 assists and 1.3 rebounds in just over 11 minutes per game. Jackson's best game in the Association to date came in a 108-96 win over the Spurs on Jan. 8 at Chesapeake Energy Arena, when he had 11 points and four assists, both career-highs for the young floor general. He also performed well off the bench (7 points, 2 rebounds) for OKC in a 95-86 win in Dallas on Wednesday night in a battle of Western Conference heavyweights. While there are still some growing pains, much like there is with any player new to the NBA, Thunder head coach Scott Brooks sees much to like about the 21-year-old Jackson. "See improvement, there's a learning curve for every player in this league when they come in. It's a tough position to play, backup point, because you don't get a lot of minutes. You don't have time to really get eight, nine, 10 minutes at a time," Brooks said. "He's done a good job. He has to keep working, keep improving and he's done that. He's working with our coaches. He's getting better every game." And how does the man who he's backing up feel about his play thus far? Well, he offers a pretty rave review in his own right, but also offers a bit of advice to his young teammate. "He can play," Westbrook said. "He knows the game. He just has to be able to go out there and play mind free." Daequan Cook is another member of the OKC bench and he too is pretty impressed with what Jackson has brought to the floor thus far. "He's pretty good, man. Pretty good guard, learning the game as he plays, getting used to it and he's becoming a lot more comfortable playing the game," Cook said. "He's still learning but he's doing a great job of it and really helping out with the second unit." Along with Ryan Reid, Jackson is one of two rookies on the Thunder. But where that might make him a target for hazing andor other rookie rites of passage on other teams like carrying bags, buying coffee, sandwiches and the like, that's not the case for Jackson. "No, not really, we don't make him do anything like that. He hangs out with us. We don't make him too much, probably a few runs (for food or coffee) here and there, but nothing too out the way," Cook said. That's a far cry from what the ex-Buckeye experienced during his rookie season in Miami not all that long ago. "A little bit, Alonzo (Mourning) had me do a little bit and Shaq did too but nothing too crazy, just making food runs and stuff," Cook said. For most rookies, being drafted by a team that is a legitimate contender for an NBA title is a dream come true. However, that ecstasy is usually tempered a bit by the harsh reality that coming to such a talented team is a double-edged sword for most rookies. Sure, they are with a team that wins on a regular basis, but that usually means minutes are fairly hard to come by. That is definitely the case for Thunder rookie point man Reggie Jackson. But with the recent injury to Eric Maynor, the former Boston College standout's prospects are now looking up. If he can continue his steady upswing, then not only will he be able to spell starter Russell Westbrook down the stretch a bit more, but he'll also have a solid impact off the bench and depth is never a bad thing for any contender, is it?
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Kevin Durant Is A Hater, But I’m Proud Of Him

Kevin Durant is the anti-Charles Barkley.  When asked a question about absolutely anything, the NBA’s cleanest-cut superstar can be counted on to come with one of those predictable, boring, cream-puff answers.  While fuddy-duddies will applaud, call it class, and gush over the young man’s character, I find it to be rather uninteresting.  I want to know how you really feel...

Grizzlies edged by Thunder, Durant

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Kevin Durant scored 36 points and hit the tiebreaking 3-pointer in the final minute to lift the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 101-94 victory against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night in a rematch of their epic Western Conference playoff series. Durant scored the final seven points of the game after Memphis had pulled even at 94 on Mike Conley's 3-pointer...

Kevin Durant Unimpressed by Blake Griffin's Dunk on Kendrick Perkins, Calls Clippers Forward a 'Poster Child'

Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin have quickly found themselves atop the pantheon of young stars in the NBA. But after an intense game between Durant's Oklahoma City Thunder and Griffin's Los Angeles Clippers, the two forwards seem to have found themselves at odds with one another. While the game ended in a 112-100 Clippers victory, the storyline after the game centered around...

Durant & Westbrook to become Duncan & Parker 2.0?

Because of general manager Sam Presti's ties to the San Antonio Spurs, the Oklahoma City Thunder have often been compared to the four-time NBA champs.  But it's not just the media and the blogosphere that is making that comparison. Darnell Mayberry, Thunder beat writer for the Oklahoman, tweeted recently that ESPN's JA Adande asked All-World forward Kevin Durant what...

Thunder 101, Grizzlies 94

Kevin Durant scored 36 points and hit the tiebreaking 3-pointer in the final minute to lift the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 101-94 victory against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night in a rematch of their epic Western Conference playoff series. Durant scored the final seven points of the game after Memphis had pulled even at 94 on Mike Conley's 3-pointer from the right side...

NBA roudnup: Kevin Durant's 36 points closes out Thunder win

Kevin Durant scored 36 points and hit the tie-breaking three-pointer in the final minute to lift the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 101-94 victory against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night in a rematch of their epic Western Conference playoff series.

Westbrook, Durant too much as Thunder win

Russell Westbrook scored 33 points, Kevin Durant added 23 points and 13 rebounds, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Dallas Mavericks 95-86 on Wednesday night.

Grizzlies-Thunder Preview

The Oklahoma City Thunder own the best record in the NBA thanks in large part to the tremendous offensive play of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The Thunder figure to become all the more dominant if Serge Ibaka can build on his latest shot-blocking display defensively. In a quick stop at home before hitting the road again, Oklahoma City tries for a sixth consecutive victory...

Durant not impressed by Griffin's dunk

It was the dunk that had the potential to break YouTube, but Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant says he was not all that impressed.

Westbrook, Durant lead Thunder past Mavericks

Russell Westbrook scored 33 points, Kevin Durant added 23 points and 13 rebounds, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Dallas Mavericks 95-86 on Wednesday night.

Durant scores 36 as Thunder beat Grizzlies 101-94

Kevin Durant scored 36 points and hit the tiebreaking 3-pointer in the final minute to lift the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 101-94 victory against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night in a rematch of their epic Western Conference playoff series.

Durant takes over in 4th as Thunder edge Grizz

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Kevin Durant scored 36 points and hit the tiebreaking 3-pointer in the final minute to lift the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 101-94 victory against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night in a rematch of their epic Western Conference playoff series.

Durant didn't care for Griffin's dunk

Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant was not impressed with Blake Griffins' dunk against teammate Kendrick Perkins in their game against the Clippers Monday night.

Memphis Grizzlies (12-10) at Oklahoma City Thunder (17-4), 8 p.m. (ET)

The Thunder make a quick stop back in Oklahoma City searching for their sixth straight win tonight in the Sooner State when they play host to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Thibodeau, Brooks named NBA's top coaches for December and January

The Chicago Bulls' Tom Thibodeau and the Oklahoma City Thunder's Scott Brooks have been named the top coaches for the Eastern and Western Conference, respectively, for December and January.
Thunder News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.