The All-Star point guard is sidelined after having arthroscopic surgery on the knee he injured against the Houston Rockets during a playoff game last year. With Westbrook out, third year point guard, Reggie Jackson, will assume the starting point guard position until after the All-Star break.
So far, it’s been a wonderful year for the 23 years old. He’s averaging a career high 12.4 points per game, 3.4 assists per game and he’s in the mix for the sixth man award. But, when Jackson had to fill in for Westbrook for the first two games of the season, his performance wasn’t so convincing. He attempted 20 field goals but only made eight, shot 22 percent from three point range, averaged 11 points and turned the ball over 10 times.
Coming off the bench, Jackson is a phenomenal player because he is the go-to guy for Scott Brooks. He handles the ball when he is on the court with the reserves and he decides who gets the ball and when they get the ball.
That’s his weakness as a starter.
He needs to realize that Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka–averaging 28.3 points per game and 14.3 points per game respectively–are the go-to guys. There have been instances during a game this season when Reggie Jackson has completely ignored a wide-open Durant or Ibaka, to take a contested shot.
Jackson needs to understand that creating more chances for Durant and Ibaka will only open more doors for him offensively. His defenders will worry about him passing to Durant, which will make it easier for him to attack the basket. And when he does attack, shot blockers will hesitate to challenge his shot because he has the option of laying the ball off to Ibaka for the easy two points.