2010-11 Season In Review: Jarrett Jack

2010-11 Season in Review: Jarrett Jack
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
June 13, 2011

Hornets.com continues its look back at the 2010-11 season with player-by-player analysis of the team:


Jack began the season as Toronto’s starting point guard, but was traded to New Orleans on Nov. 20 in a five-player deal that also brought David Andersen to the Big Easy. Jack’s transition did not go smoothly initially. He shot poorly early in his tenure, which was uncharacteristic of his track record in the NBA. He shot just 35.0 percent from the field in December, his first full month with New Orleans. He was still under 40 percent in January, while adjusting to the reduction in playing time that’s part of life when you’re Chris Paul’s backup.

“There were so many expectations put on Jarrett, and I think he put too much pressure on himself,” Monty Williams said at midseason. “People forget, when you come into a new team, those first five, six or seven games are your training camp. You’re trying to learn the system, learn the locker room, learn the city. There are so many things that are new.

“He’s finding his way. This is a tough, tough time for Jarrett, because he’s not playing 30 to 35 minutes a night. It’s more like 10 to 15.”

In the second half of 2010-11, however, the Georgia Tech product played much closer to his previous NBA form, shooting 45.5 and 46.8 percent in February and March, respectively. As his performance improved, his playing time continued to climb. From Feb. 16 through March 9, Jack logged 20-plus minutes in 10 consecutive games, easily his longest such stretch of the season.

Williams began relying heavily on Jack, particularly in the fourth quarter of close games, and often paired him with Paul in an undersized but quick and highly skilled backcourt tandem.

“I’m trying to get him minutes with Chris,” Williams said in March. “To do that, I have to dig into someone else’s minutes. But he’s getting more comfortable and he’s not looking at the bench anymore when he makes a mistake. That’s a good sign. People don’t realize how good he is because he’s not playing the minutes that he’s played in the past.”

With Paul playing spectacularly at times during the first-round playoff series against the Lakers, Jack’s minutes dipped again, but he was understandably pleased to make his NBA postseason debut. Prior to 2011, Jack had ranked among the top five on the list of most regular season appearances by an active NBA player without a postseason berth.


On March 6 at Cleveland, Paul sustained a concussion that forced his exit from the game and immediately forced Jack to take over the offense. Jack responded with a 14-point, six-rebound, five-assist performance, sparking the Hornets to a 96-81 road victory without their four-time All-Star. Jack wound up starting the next two games in place of Paul, at Chicago and vs. Dallas. Jack’s crafty drawing of a foul on Jason Kidd of the Mavericks on March 9 led to Jack sinking three straight clutch free throws, the go-ahead points in a memorable 93-92 Hornets win.

“You can’t say enough about the way he held it down while Chris was out, especially in the Cleveland game,” Williams said. “I think we were down by 1 (point against the Cavaliers when Paul was injured). I looked (Jack) in the eyes and said, ‘Let’s go.’ He ran the team and I think we went up by almost 20 points.”


Jack, who led Georgia Tech to an appearance in the 2004 Final Four – where the Yellowjackets were defeated in the title game by Emeka Okafor’s Connecticut Huskies – said he planned to return to Atlanta this summer to finish his college degree. He only needed to complete five classes to graduate. Before hitting the books, his itinerary included attending NBA playoff games in Miami and Atlanta, something Jack does on an annual basis.

Despite his rough individual start in New Orleans, Jack sounded pleased with what he and the team achieved in 2010-11, while knowing that the Hornets must continue to improve in the future.
“The expectations for this organization were achieved this season,” he said. “We had nine more wins than last season, and I thought we improved in a lot of areas, especially defensively. We’re looking for things to keep going in that direction.

“Obviously we came up short (in the playoffs). A couple reasons were pretty obvious. I’m sure Dell (Demps) and Coach (Williams) will do the necessary things to make us better.”


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