Ok, probably not. But this morning’s “Talking Points” with Bay-area Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami lays out the impressive work done by Stephen Jackson since coming returning from suspension:
Stephen Jackson sat at his locker late Thursday just after he finished holding Tracy McGrady (averaging 26 this year) to 11 points on 5 of 14 shooting in the Warriors’ 113-94 home victory…
Which was a night after holding Ron Artest to 21 points on 7 of 24 shooting in a Warriors victory in Sacramento…
Which was a few days after alternately hawking Shawn Marion and Steve Nash in a Warriors victory over the Suns…
Which was a few days after chasing and bumping Andre Igoudala (Warriors win in Philly), Caron Butler (Warriors win in Washington), Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett (Warriors lose in Boston), and Chris Bosh and T.J. Ford (Warriors win in Toronto).
New York was in there, too, but there’s nobody important to guard on NY (Warriors win).
Eight games, seven victories, and every time out, Jackson spent most of the contest defending the opponent’s best offensive player, and most of the time doing it very, very well.
Before we go any further, Jackson hasn’t been putting guys in the lock box every single night. For example, in that Wizards game, Caron went for 26 points, 11 boards and 10 dimes. But you can’t deny that the Warriors are a totally different team with Stephen Jackson back in the mix (they were 1-6 without him, 7-1 with him). There’s a reason that Don Nelson asked him to be the captain of this squad.
Kawakami then got Jackson to talk about individual matchups and who he has the toughest time guarding in the League. Kobe? No. T-Mac? Nope. Try Ron-Ron.
“I told Coach I wish they’d never schedule McGrady and Artest back-to-back, I’ll tell you that,” Jackson said.
“McGrady’s a great player. He’s an All-Star every year. The thing I do is try to make him take tough shots, try to send him to his off hand. And just try to stay by him and contest all his shots.”
But Artest is the toughest guy for him to guard?
“Yes, indeed, oh my goodness,” Jackson said. “For Ron… we’ve got to come up with a different word than ‘strong.’ Strong is not the word for Ron Artest. He’s a … I don’t know, man… freak of nature. Whew. That’s a strong dude, man.”
Artest is tougher to defend than Kobe?
“Yeah, because Ron is in that paintâ€“you’re banging with him all night,” Jackson said. “Kobe’s on the perimeter a lot. Kobe’s relentless. Ron is relentless, too, weighs 250 pounds…
“It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it. I’ll take the challenge every night. I don’t back down from nobody.”
Kawakami devotes a good portion of the column using hard stats to show the effect that Jack has on the team’s defense and how those numbers compare to what guys like Kobe, Artest and Bruce Bowen do for their teams.
You can read the full post HERE.