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Reggie Jackson is eligible to win the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award if he starts six games out of the final 13.
He's drawn spot starting duty for the incumbent Westbrook, and may have to relinquish consideration of the award because of it.
Either way, he's been brilliant, demonstrating the ability to be a viable second option behind Durant when the Thunder needed a scoring punch in the backcourt with 16.8 points per 36 minutes, a career-high.
With Westbrook on a minutes watch and battling an injury, Jackson will have an opportunity to further improve his numbers. In essence, he'll be a necessary component of the final push toward the postseason.
If he succeeds in this role and does it primarily as a reserve, then the voters would be hard-pressed not to give him a look among other frontrunners like Markieff Morris and Taj Gibson.
Morris and Gibson each have more win shares with 5.4 and 4.8 against just 3.9 for Jackson, but neither of the former plays alongside the NBA win shares leader in Durant. Jackson will have more opportunity to affect games and thus build his case for the league's top reserve, if he nets enough games off the bench to be among the pool of candidates.