Jackson Still Has Upset on His Mind
Jackson was part of one of the biggest upsets in playoffs history -- he played for No. 8 Golden State when they stunned No. 1 Dallas in 2007 -- and he hasn't been deterred by losing Game 1 to Orlando Sunday night.
Nor was he down about having to almost be carried from the court at halftime after hyper-extending his right knee.
"I know we can beat these guys,'' Jackson said Sunday night after losing, 98-89 to the Magic. "They were the better team today, but we know we can beat these guys. We bounced back really well.''
The Bobcats, reaching the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, admittedly had the jitters early, allowing the Magic to build a 22-point lead. Yet they kept churning, putting a scare into the Magic when they closed to within 83-79 with 3:51 remaining.
And they closed with Jackson -- arguably their best player -- on the bench.
Jackson was helped off the court at halftime after he collided with teammate Gerald Wallace when they were chasing a loose ball that Jameer Nelson finally corralled.
He returned in the third and played all 12 minutes, scoring seven points, but coach Larry Brown didn't like the way he was running, worried that he might be further hurting himself. After three minutes in the fourth period, he was yanked for good.
"I played through the pain in the third. I was feeling good, and I know how to block it out,'' he said. "Coach was looking out for me, but I was fine. It is over and done with.''
Jackson finished with 18 points and nine rebounds in 34 minutes. He made just six of 18 shots, but six of seven free throws.
Jackson will have an MRI Monday, although he said he was definitely playing when the series resumes Wednesday.
"He's mad at me (for pulling him out), but I just didn't feel right playing him when I saw him limping around,'' said Brown. "He's a warrior. He wanted to play. We have some time to rest him, and get him ready.''
The trade for Jackson during the first month of the season has been heralded as the biggest reason the Bobcats reached the playoffs. He averaged 21.1 points and 5.1 rebounds, giving them considerably more toughness than they had before.
"It's all about winning,'' he said. "We know how to keep our composure, and keep playing. We can beat this team.''