Today the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Knicks by a score of 96-84. It was nice to see Dennis Smith Jr. in a new jersey, but there were three players that clearly stood out:
Marc Gasol, Mike Conley, and Jaren Jackson Jr.
Marc Gasol and Mike Conley looked like their old selves and undoubtedly made it harder for contenders to not want to trade for them before this upcoming trade deadline. That especially goes for Conley who finished with 25 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists while only turning over the ball one time all game.
While Jackson didn’t have quite the stat-line that Conley accumulated, we want to discuss his game and what we love about it right now.
JJJ finished with 16 points and 7 boards on the day. He hit only one three, but it was a spectacular one.
This is one thing that Jaren does so spectacularly, making tough deep shots. It’s shocking that they go in at times too since it looks like he doesn’t look too balanced when he’s going up.
Another great part of Jackson’s game is his ability to run the floor. Given his size, he’s one of the best at it. He can catch it well on the fly or finish it at the rim off of a miss.
Jaren is a great rim protector, averaging 1.5 blocks per game in his rookie season. It’ll be interesting to see how he’s used within the rotation once Marc Gasol is, most likely, out of Memphis given the fact that JJJ could very possibly thrive as a small-ball 5.
The one problem with his game on the defensive end is the fact that he consistently gets himself in foul trouble. He is averaging a whopping 7.5 fouls per 100 possessions. He has committed 5 or more fouls in 19 of the games this season. That is tied for 1st in the NBA with Karl-Anthony Towns.
The Grizzlies will need him on the court to succeed in the future so that is simply going to have to change. He proves his worth with a +2 net rating and given how bad Memphis has been this year, that’s an extremely impressive mark.
Luka Doncic has controlled the media as a star rookie, but don’t be surprised if in a few years, Jaren Jackson Jr. will be considered a top 3 player from this Draft class.