California Notes: Jackson, KCP, L. Pierce, Warriors

Clippers starting point guard Reggie Jackson appears to have discovered a good NBA fit in L.A. after several prior stops, writes Ramona Shelburne of ESPN. Jackson emerged as the club’s clear starting point guard since being inserted into the starting lineup in Game 3 of the team’s first-round series against the Mavericks. He is averaging for 17.8 PPG, 3.2 APG and 3.0 RPG across 17 games in these playoffs.

Shelburne notes that Jackson has been red-hot since becoming a starter during the postseason, and he has made his impact felt in a big way with L.A. Shelburne notes that the Clippers are plus-104 with Jackson on the floor, and he joins just two other players in league history to connect on at least three 3-point shots across 14 playoff contests.

“I’ve gone through my career trying to make the right play and not necessarily just being myself and coming out and playing the game,” Jackson said of his career before the Clippers. “But the more I just continue to be myself, the more this team empowered me to be myself, I’ve been able to find success.”

Jackson admitted that he contemplated retirement from the NBA last summer, before the Clippers came calling for a return appearance after he joined the club late in the 2019/20 season. “I was ready to leave. I was ready to give up,” Jackson said. “I thought I was going to retire because I just couldn’t get healthy.” Jackson inked a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal during the 2020 offseason, and should be in line for a major raise this summer thanks to his playoff output.

“It’s just about being positive and showing him that he’s wanted,” Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue said. “One thing about Reggie, he’s always going to come in, speak to everybody, shake everybody’s hand… Whoever’s in the gym, general managers, the president, the owner, the equipment guys.”

There’s more out of California:

  • Lakers starting wing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was robbed of an estimated $150K in belongings at gunpoint in front of his Los Angeles-area home, per TMZ Sports (h/t to Kurt Helin of NBC Sports). Caldwell-Pope and his friends at the scene were not physically harmed. The LAPD is currently looking into the theft.
  • Former Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce is being eyeballed for a potential position as an assistant coach under Warriors head coach Steve Kerrtweets Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. Poole notes that both coaches will serve on the US Olympic Team’s bench under Gregg Popovich this summer. Pierce was let go by Atlanta after the team began the 2020/21 season with a disappointing 14-20 record. He had been the head man for the Hawks since 2018. A longtime NBA assistant, Pierce previously logged time as a Warriors assistant during 2010/11 under then-head coach Keith Smart.
  • With Klay Thompson poised to return after missing two full seasons due to lower-body injuries, the Warriors appear to be gearing up for a deep playoff run once again. Kendra Andrews of NBC Sports Bay Area considers four free agent wings the team could add on affordable deals to fill out its bench.
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