Grizzlies rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. gets Kevin Garnett comparison from JB Bickerstaff
Memphis Grizzlies rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. has made a great impression on the league in his first 21 games, and no one is more impressed than his head coach, JB Bickerstaff.
Per Grizzlies beat reporter Omari Sankofa II, Bickerstaff is reminded of a certain basketball legend when he watches Jackson take the floor.
JB Bickerstaff's initial NBA comparison for Jaren Jackson Jr.? Kevin Garnett.
"At a young age, the ability to put the ball on the floor, make the face-up jumper, the defensive acumen that he has, I think you can start there."
— Omari Sankofa II (@omarisankofa) December 2, 2018
This is high praise from his coach, and at first glance, Bickerstaff is right. Both players are 6-foot-11 stretch forwards that can space the floor, get buckets in the paint, and provide defensive intensity.
Jaren Jackson Jr. is already a defensive menace, averaging two blocks and one steal a game to go along with 13.8 points and 4.6 rebounds. These numbers bear similarities to Kevin Garnett’s stats as a rookie, when he averaged 10.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, and one steal a game.
When Jackson shares the floor with Marc Gasol, the Grizzlies can be downright scary on defense. They currently hold the ninth-best defensive rating in the league, and it seems like the sky is the limit for Jackson defensively.
When Jaren Jackson Jr. was selected fourth overall by the Grizzlies in the draft, they liked the fact that Jackson prided himself on his defense, which is hard to find in a rookie, especially in today’s league where it is rare to see teams score under triple digits. So far, it seems like a great pick that has netted them a possible franchise cornerstone, and one that fits perfectly into Memphis’ grit-and-grind culture.