J.B. Bickerstaff explains why he’s being cautious with Jaren Jackson Jr.’s minutes
Despite Jaren Jackson Jr.’s obvious talent, Memphis Grizzlies head coach J.B. Bickerstaff has opted to limit his minutes. But it’s all for a reasonable cause.
Per Omari Sankofa II of The Athletic, Bickerstaff shared that he holds Jackson — the fourth overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft — to a very high standard. He believes that in three years, Jackson will be one of the best in this league. This means that the first year will be a critical one. Among the Grizzlies’ big men, he’s definitely the most talented. But Bickerstaff has still opted to cut his minutes, especially in late-game situations.
“We’ve worked with Jaren a ton with the idea of who we hope he’s going to be in three years from now,” Bickerstaff said. “You only get one rookie season, and we, as a coaching staff, because of the level we believe he can get to, sometimes we hold him to a higher standard because we understand how important that will be for his development. We believe that Jaren can be a top two-way player in this league, for a long time. And to do that, he’s gotta hold himself to a higher standard, and that’s part of his development.”
The 19-year-old is averaging 13.4 points per game, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks in 25.5 minutes. Time will tell if this method will work in the long run. All that Grizzlies fans can do is to trust Jackson’s talent and the coaching staff’s process.