Steve Hammer

Stephen Jackson, the shooting guard for the Indiana Pacers, is filling the role held for 17 years by Reggie Miller. Acquired in July 2004 from Atlanta, he averaged 18.7 points in 51 regular-season games with the Pacers last season.

Q: How badly did it make you feel to miss that last shot on Saturday?

A: I mean, it's not the first time. I've missed plenty of shots in tie games before. Some go in, some you miss 'em. I'm all right.

Q: It seemed like you had a hard time at the start of the game.

A: It's something players go through. I couldn't get my rhythm. Obviously, Ron and J.O. were getting off to a great start, so I couldn't catch a rhythm. I got going later and I was able to knock down some shots. I'll continue to work on it and hopefully they'll continue to fall.

Q: In the final minutes, the shot always used to go to Reggie. Do you think it's going to take a while to shake down?

A: I would say that's true, but I would also say it's good that we have confidence in anybody taking that last shot. It could have been anybody taking that shot. I would go 10 out of 10 times with J.O. taking that shot. I'd go 10 out of 10 times with Ron taking that shot. It just depends on who's on that night, and who Coach feels confident giving the ball to at that time. Obviously, we don't have Reggie to put that weight on, but we have the same confidence with each other as we did with Reggie.

Q: Do you feel like Ron is still kind of feeling his way back?

A: I think he is. He's just trying to do the right thing. I love that about him. He's being a team player and he's just trying to do anything to help this team. A lot of people put their own twist on it and say he's this or he's that, but Ron's been great, man. He's a great team player. He's not doing nothing that we don't expect from him. And he's playing great. We're 2-1 right now and he's a big part of that.

Q: Were you excited to see how Ron would be treated by the fans, his first time back?

A: Naw, because it didn't matter. Whether they booed or cheered, whether they boo or cheer in any arena in the NBA, he's still my teammate. I still have to go out and play 82 games with him. That's not a concern for me, as long as we're on the same page on the court. I love the guy.


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