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Grizzlies’ Jaren Jackson Jr. says NBA 2K helped with his timing on blocks

Jaren Jackson Jr.

Jaren Jackson Jr. is easily coming off the best game of his NBA career, posting 16 points on a perfect 6-of-6 from the field and 4-of-4 from deep, coupling the sharpshooting performance with an eye-popping seven blocks to lead the Memphis Grizzlies’ block party of 19 against the New York Knicks.

Jaren Jackson Jr., the youngest player in the league at a ripe 19 years of age, said the timing of his shot blocking was inspired by the popular video game NBA 2K, in which he’s forced to patiently wait and surprise the opponent to keep himself out of foul trouble.

The Michigan State product managed to foul out in the fourth game of his career and has racked up a whopping eight games with at least five fouls through the first 19 games of the season, something he has been steadily looking to solve.

“I think a lot of my blocks were late, let’s say I had gotten blocks earlier, I probably wouldn’t have done the same things over and over again,” said Jaren Jackson Jr., reflecting on his performance from Sunday night. “It’s just being in the right place and getting the timing down.

“I’m doing that timing stuff a lot, I get it from 2K — I’m not kidding. ‘Cause when you go for a block on 2K, you got to time it right, you have to act like you’re not going, act like your head is over there and then block it.”

Jaren Jackson Jr. is gifted with incredible length and athleticism. If he can get his timing right and keep from fouling a lot, he will see the floor a lot more and have plenty of opportunities to become one of the most feared shot blockers in the league.