Kyle Anderson says Jaren Jackson Jr. is blocking shots with his elbow
Memphis Grizzlies rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. is a behemoth of an energizer bunny with a nonstop motor and freakish athleticism. If that’s not enough of a sentence to illustrate how scary JJJ’s potential is, then perhaps one anecdote from Grizzlies swingman Kyle Anderson will.
The players played alongside rookie Jaren Jackson Jr., about whom Anderson raved, “It’s funny; he can’t even control his body. He’s so big and athletic he’s blocking shots with his elbows!”
The Grizzlies are expecting big things from Jaren Jackson Jr. right in his very first season in the NBA, and if what Kyle Anderson just said about the rookie was any indication, players bold enough to drive to the basket when JJJ is around the rim should prepare themselves for an embarrassing trip down the lane.
Jackson has plenty to learn as a pro, and part of his learning curve will come while trying to protect the rim for the Grizzlies. Memphis was left rotting near the cellar of the Western Conference standings last season, but one thing they did well was protecting the paint, as the Grizzlies allowed the third fewest points in the shaded area.
In five games played in the Summer League, Jackson wowed observers with his defense, posting 3.8 blocks per game, though, people who’ve seen him play in East Lansing weren’t surprised with his performance in those exhibition contests. Jackson averaged 3.0 blocks per contest in his lone season with the Michigan State Spartans.
Jackson was selected by the Grizzlies as this year’s fourth overall pick in June’s NBA Draft with the team hoping that he could be a future cornerstone of the franchise, possibly the receiver of Marc Gasol’s torch once he’s done in Memphis.