Coach Nick at BBall Breakdown once again secures an outstanding set of interviews with both the Thunder's #24 draft pick Reggie Jackson as well as his personal trainer, Steve Campbell. Campbell runs a training company called Campbell Metrics and you can see in both the video below and on his site that he incorporates a variety of techniques that have helped a number of college and pro players.
A few comments:
- We're seeing more and more combat training (boxing, MMA) incorporated into pro athetes' workouts. I think, and you can see in some of the shots here, that there is a strong focus on both handwork and footwork, which are paramount to being an effective guard in the NBA.
- The kid has some punch. Literally and figuratively.
- From a body-type standpoint, Jackson and his 7'1" wingspan remind me a lot of Rajon Rondo, but with a better jump shot. I'd love to see Jackson take on a similar persona, that of a defensive ball-hawk and offensive distributor.
- You can see, even with Jackson at 3/4 speed, there is a wicked jab step lurking in there somewhere.
- In the comments at the video's link, you see a lot of people clamoring for the Thunder to move Westbrook now that the team has both James Harden and this very promising rookie. I think they continue to miss the fact that the Thunder weren't looking for backup support for Russell Westbrook or Kevin Durant in the draft; they were looking for someone to replace Harden coming off the bench. The weakest link isn't Westbrook, it is Thabo Sefolosha.
- If Jackson can bring this moxy to the backup role, give the team some Eric Maynor-like offense at the two and approximate Sefolosha's defense, I do think Jackson will quickly move into the regular rotation.
- If I have one immediate critique, Jackson's shooting mechanics will probably need to improve over time. Watching him shoot his jumpers immediately made me think of Royce Young's post a few months back where he examined Westbrook's mechanics. You can see the same tendencies in both to kick out the elbows to try and soften the shot. Jackson will need to tighten those elbows and shorten the motion for his outside shot to become a reliable feature in his offensive repertoire.
- Anybody else excited at the prospect of Jackson, James Harden, and Russell Westbrook doing some impromptu slam dunk competitions?
"Very astute observations about the Thunder and Jackson. I think the issue with his jump shot isn't the elbow flaring out - it's that he over-bends it, and the ball is covering his right eye before he releases. Which is the exact issue Rondo has (although Rondo does it even worse). I mentioned it to Reggie, and he quickly started quoting me his college shooting stats. I've got other footage of his shot, and I'm going to break it down frame by frame for him..."