This LA Clippers season has felt like one hit after another, with the city’s, ‘other team,’ simply unable to catch a break all season long. It’s also been nothing short of spectacular. Kawhi Leonard hasn’t played all year, Paul George hasn’t played since Christmas, and head coach Tyronn Lue has been forced to reinvent his offense round Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris.

Once Paul George was ruled out indefinitely in December, the Clippers were faced with an extended period of time without their two closers. In a three-point loss to the Denver Nuggets immediately after George’s injury, guard Terance Mann said he was hoping the game wouldn’t come down to the wire since the team was without its two best clutch players.

Over the next few months, however, a new closer has emerged, and his name is Reggie Jackson. The biggest reason? Jackson loves being in those situations.

“First of all, you got to want it, and he wants those moments,” Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue said of Jackson. “Where he’s able to take over a game and be able to produce down the stretch, that is what he lives for. Just put him in position where he can get the spacing, we get the right matchup, and then he can go to work and make the right play and he has been doing that for us all year long.”

Through 64 games, the Clippers have a 33-31 record, good for eighth in the Western Conference. Of those 64 games, 29 games featured games that entered ‘clutch’ time, meaning the game was within five points in the final five minutes.

Mr. June, Action Jackson, and Big Government are all nicknames Jackson has earned during his tenure with the Clippers, and with good reason. He has become a fan favorite in Los Angeles thanks to his incredibly timely baskets and the effort he’s given to lead teams to win despite being shorthanded.

Reggie Jackson has played 96 clutch minutes so far this season, scoring 86 total points on a 58.5 true shooting percentage. Jackson has made 27 of his 59 attempts (45.8 percent) shooting from the field, including 7-of-19 on three-pointers (36.8 percent).

Jackson currently sits among some of the NBA’s best in clutch scoring. Here’s the list of the top 5 players in clutch scoring.

Reggie Jackson, Clippers

Jackson does the bulk of his damage from three major areas on the court: Within three feet of the basket, at the top of the key inside the three-point arc, and the top of the key outside the arc.

In clutch situations this season, Reggie Jackson is shooting 16-of-29 on shots right around the rim, 3-of-4 on mid-range shots from the top of the key, and 6-of-9 on three-pointers from the top of the key.

Reggie Jackson, Clippers, clutch shot chart March 3rd

Most times the Clippers enter crunchtime, Jackson shows up. It’s why his teammates, like Ivica Zubac, doesn’t get concerned. Nothing says calm, cool, and collected like Reggie Jackson.

“I’m not surprised,” Ivica Zubac recently said of the Clippers’ point guard. “Him and Marcus, they’re our closers. And I feel like when we’re in those situations at the end, when there’s a close game, when there’s clutch situations, I feel pretty comfortable with them having the ball in their hands. They’ve got a lot of experience, they’ve been in those situations so many times, and feel like they know what to do pretty much every time, and it makes it easier for everyone else.

“So I feel comfortable with Reggie having the ball at the end, Marcus too. And the whole team feels comfortable with them. So not surprised at it.”

While he’s seen an increase in efficiency during clutch moments, Reggie Jackson is going through the worst scoring year of his career based on efficiency. Shooting just 39 percent from the field and holding a 49.4 true shooting percentage, Jackson hasn’t been as efficient as he has been in prior years.

“Hold it down for me,” Ivica Zubac recalls Jackson telling his Clippers teammates during some shooting struggles. “Sometimes when he has a bad game, he’s always telling us, ‘Hold it down for me until the fourth quarter.’ He’s asking us to have his back until the fourth quarter. And he always shows up at the end when we need him. So no matter if he has a good or bad game, we know he’s going to be there at the end, and we feel pretty comfortable that you can close the game out.”

Once those fourth quarters arrive, Jackson locks in and takes his game to another level.

Kawhi Leonard has played zero of the 64 games this regular season as he recovers from surgery on his torn ACL. Paul George has played in only 26 of the 64 games. Marcus Morris has missed 25 games due to a knee injury, COVID-19, and the passing of a childhood friend. Nicolas Batum and Luke Kennard have both missed chunks of the season as well.

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And yet, no matter how bad he’s struggling in a game, Jackson is confident he’ll come through.

“Very confident, but moreso confident in just the work that I put in,” Reggie Jackson explains. “I truly believe in a great quote I’ve heard, ‘rise to the level of the occasion, sink to the level of your training.’ I just try to put in a lot of work, try to make sure I’m outworking anybody I can imagine who’s putting work in, and then from there, I just like to have confidence in my work.

“My teammates are always egging me on, my coaches, this entire organization, Clipper Nation, the fans. And already being confident in myself and having the backing of the support system of everyone around me it just allows myself to go out there and play free… I’ve just been fortunate to be making shots. Just happy to do whatever it takes to get wins.”

Reggie Jackson, Clippers


The futures of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Norman Powell remain incredibly cloudy. With each passing day, the NBA playoffs near and the chances that one, or both, return from their respective injuries dwindles.

“Our mindset is our brothers getting healthy,” Jackson said. “Honestly, we’re not putting a timetable on it. I don’t think anybody in the locker room, like we’re focused on the journey. We’re focused each and every day. That’s not saying we don’t want him. Of course, we would love for Paul to be back immediately. We would love for Kawhi to be back, Norman [too]. But we understand that injuries is part of this league.”

For now, the Clippers will likely continue to go as far as Reggie Jackson can take them.