As the Oklahoma City Thunder have played what can be charitably described as "uneven" basketball in the absence of Russell Westbrook (6-5 record, 3 losses to teams without winning record), the Thunder fanbase has clamored for coach Scott Brooks to try any measure of adjustments to help keep the team afloat.
While every player has struggled (even Durant is effected over the past 9 games, struggling his way to a 34 point, 9 rebound, 5 assist average, but HEY, his shooting % has dropped to 48% over that stretch), no player has exhibited such a radical variability as 3rd year point guard Reggie Jackson. Jackson's nadir was reached when during the Thunder's game against the Bucks he was benched for the entirety of the 4th quarter and was replaced by Derek Fisher.
There is plenty of analysis that can be done about Jackson's strengths and weaknesses and whatnot, but the thought I have in mind, and one that keeps popping up in comment threads, is this - should Scott Brooks return Jackson to the 2nd unit and replace him with Derek Fisher in the starting line-up? I'd love to get some greater discussion going on this.
A few quick pros and cons:
- Jackson would be relieved of the pressure of having to face the scrutiny of 1st team defenses.
- Jackson would likely not get yelled at as much by Durant and the gang.
- Jackson could return to the 2nd unit rotation, a place where he thrives because he is facing the other team's 2nd unit defense and he can focus primarily as a scoring guard.
- It keeps Fisher on the bench, where it is easier to prevent his minutes from spiraling and his effectiveness to plummet.
- Jackson is a prideful guy who is in a mental funk, and a demotion might sink his confidence even further.
- The Thunder's 1st unit would be even more stripped of offensive potency until Westbrook returns.
- The Thunder's 1st unit defense would suffer as well.
- Derek Fisher is now your starting PG.
Tell us what you think - should Brooks consider making a starting line-up change to get his talented but struggling 3rd year PG back involved in the team's mission? Or is it way too early in the season (pre-All Star break) to make such a drastic measure and risk losing Jackson for the long haul?