Bucks continue playing well without Jackson

MILWAUKEE — On a night the Milwaukee Bucks beat

Detroit — 103-82 with a well-balanced offensive effort — the most glaring item

on the postgame box score wasn’t their points total (marking the fourth

consecutive game surpassing the 100-point mark) or their incredible

disadvantage on the offensive glass (17-7).

No, what stood out most was the “DNP – Coach’s Decision” listed next

to Stephen Jackson’s name.

After missing the team’s previous game, a 100-89 home win over the Lakers on Saturday,

Jackson didn’t play Monday night, a decision Scott Skiles said he made because

of the way the team had been performed against Los Angeles.

“It was my decision,” Skiles said. “I liked the way we’ve played

the past couple games. He’ll have an opportunity to work himself back in

there.”

After the game, Jackson didn’t disagree with the coach’s assessment.

“For the most part, Scott is right,” Jackson said. “We are

playing well without me in the lineup but it’s all good. It’s all about

winning.”

Milwaukee has now won five of its last seven games and won consecutive games

for the fourth time this season. The team is 3-0 without Jackson in the lineup.

Jackson said that Monday was the first time in his career that he didn’t

participate in a game when he’s been healthy and that he wasn’t exactly

surprised by the decision to keep him on the bench. Jackson’s minutes have

fluctuated between 26 and 35 in the four games since he was held out of a Jan.

20 contest against New York for reportedly missing a team bus.

That game came after Jackson was held out of the second half of a 105-95 loss

to Denver, after he went 0 for 6 from the field in the first half. Jackson was

vocal about his displeasure following that game but not so on Monday.

“That’s fine with me,” Jackson said of sitting out the game against

the Pistons. “Everybody knows the situation. One thing I’m not going to do

is not be professional. I’m going to cheer the team on and do what I have to

do. My situation is going to get better soon. Until then, I’m going to support

these guys and continue to collect my check.”

Acquired in a three-team, draft-day trade to provide some much-needed scoring

to an often-punchless offense a season ago, Jackson has struggled at times with

consistency. In 17 games (13 starts) this season, Jackson is averaging 12.8

points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists in just under 32 minutes per game.

His best effort came on Jan. 10, when he hit 12 of 17 from the field and 3 of 4

three-pointers in Milwaukee’s 106-103 victory over the Spurs. He scored 25 the

next time out against Detroit, but in the seven games since has cracked double

digits just three times and is averaging just 8.3 points.

Jackson said the team is well-aware of his feelings, but didn’t get into

specifics on what those feelings were, who in the organization was aware of

them and what that might mean for his future in Milwaukee.

“That means they know how I feel, I don’t have to elaborate on that,”

Jackson said. “That’s self-explanatory. We did play a good game tonight.

Everybody scored that played. We’re playing well. A good win against LA, a good

win tonight against a team we should have beat and we got a tough one

Wednesday. That’s all we are focused on, keep winning.”

He’s not sure if he’ll see action Wednesday when the Bucks host Miami but he

will be “prepared for anything” and he won’t be a distraction if he’s

not in the lineup.

“I came in (today) and did my work, I’m going to come in tomorrow, work at

practice and continue to work on my game,” Jackson said. “But at the

end of the day, I have to be able to perform wherever I’m at.”