Last year, Jaren Jackson, Jr. was seen as the face of the future for the Memphis Grizzlies. Fans fell in love with the
What a difference a year makes. Last year, fans were furious and thought the team was wasting his first season in the league with J.B. Bickerstaff as his head coach. Many said Bickerstaff didn’t know how to play
He also learned from JaMychal Green, Garrett Temple, and Joakim Noah.
Now Jackson has to rely for guidance on veterans Jae Crowder, Solomon Hill, and fellow big man Jonas Valanciunas. The players have to gel and he knows it is a long season and the team can’t get too high or too low, but has to take it one game at a time. After the ugly loss against the Warriors on Tuesday night,
He went on to say, “You just have to improve, keep doing the same things. You can’t really change too much. I need to see the game first and look at it. Definitely not something I’m proud of.”
Jenkins says he isn't too concerned about
Jenkins said he would "keep encouraging him with positivity. I think if he can latch on mentally to how he could be good defensively, he can be a two-way player. He is still trying to find his way on the offensive end if he just focuses on the defense, the offense will come in time."
Jenkins said that Jackson and Ja Morant are still developing chemistry in the young season, adding that that
Through 13 games played, Jackson is averaging 14 points, 4.9 rebounds, while shooting 46.5 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from the three-point line.
Among sophomore players in the league, Jackson is in the top 10 in scoring, based on traditional stats. His usage is 22.7 percent and he is ranked in the top 15th percentile for second-year players. And it's worth pointing out: Jackson's numbers aren't terrible. He's scored in double figures in 8 out of 13 games and has scored 20 or more points in four of those games.
The Grizzlies have a roster full of young players who need development. As Jackson said, they don't have time to be rookies. They're being thrown into the fire and have to learn on the fly. Building chemistry will ultimately help Jackson and his teammates compete for 48 minutes and win some more games.
Grizzlies fans need to understand and accept the necessity of growing pains for this young team this season. There is plenty of basketball left to play. Patience is the key for Jackson, his teammates, and the coaching staff — and for the fans.