Pre-season blitz shows good signs for Cedric Jackson
IF THE NBL's pre-season Blitz was anything to go by, New Zealand star point guard Cedric Jackson looks set to revisit the electric form he displayed in the 2012/13 season, when he won the competition's MVP award.
And it could be the result of a few pointers from the world's best player - Cleveland superstar LeBron James.
Jackson has returned Down Under after an injury-hit stint in Slovenia, armed with some simple but effective tips from one of the world's best athletes.
"When I go back to Cleveland I always work out with LeBron," Jackson told APN.
"He's about staying positive and staying level-headed. He has all of it, so that's the greatest advice you can get from him, and he's always working on being a professional and taking care of yourself."
Jackson was quiet in the Breakers' first game of the Blitz, in his team's 96-84 win over Adelaide, with just eight points.
But he was a star for New Zealand in its 91-64 heavy defeat to Townsville, scoring 17 points and declaring his fitness following a knock to his knee late in that game.
That will have Breakers fans excited the American import, who had brief stints in the NBA at Cleveland, San Antonio and Washington in the 2009/10 season, can lead their team to more success.
The 28-year-old point guard was key to the Breakers' championship triumphs in 2011/12 and 2012/13.
"Even though I feel like I'm going well, I like to get my teammates involved first, then me," Jackson said.
"I'm looking forward to a better season and hopefully I can go even better than what I did in the past."
Despite his own good form, Jackson believes there is plenty of improvement left in his team before its season-opener against reigning champions the Wildcats, in Perth tonight.
"I give us a C or C-plus. There are always a lot of things we can do," he said.
"Definitely the way we defend and our shot selection can improve. We're a team that wants to work on everything.
"We're a fairly new team and we have a great nucleus of returning guys, so hopefully we can shape up and get ready for a tough game first up in Perth."