2018-19 Season Rewind: Josh Jackson

End of Season Interviews: Josh Jackson

FINAL LINE

11.5 points. 4.4 rebounds. 2.3 assists.

41.3 FG%. 32.4 3P%. 76.1 FT%

0.9 steals. 0.7 blocks. 

BIGGEST PERFORMANCE

Josh Jackson biggest performance came in the Suns 133-126 victory over the Pelicans on April 5. Jackson scored a season-high 35 points with nine rebounds, five assists and two steals while knocking down five-of-eight from three-point range (62.5%).

This was Jackson second career 30-point game as he notched career highs with 15 field goals and five three-pointers. 

KEY STATS

Over his last 13 games, Jackson was shooting 44.0 3P% while making 1.7 three-pointers per game. 

Jackson scored 19 points, matched his season high of 10 rebounds and had a career-high 5 blocks vs Cleveland on April 1. Jackson became the first Suns player 6’8” or shorter with 5-plus blocks in a game since Shawn Marion in 2008.

Jackson had then season highs of 27 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks on Jan. 22 vs Minnesota, his first double-double this season. Jackson became the first Suns reserve with 25 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks since Larry Nance in 1988. 

Since the calendar turned to 2019, Jackson has increased his production and efficiency, duplicating a trend from his rookie season.

BEFORE JAN 1: 8.7 ppg (38.6 FG%, 29.1 3P%, 63.3 FT%), 3.8 rpg, 2.1 apg

AFTER JAN 1: 14.2 ppg (43.0 FG%), 34.5 3P%, 69.4 FT%), 4.9 rpg, 2.5 apg

Of the Suns’ points this season, 60.2 percent have been scored by players age 22 or younger. This is the highest percentage of any team in the NBA this season and the fifth highest of any team in NBA history with Jackson joining Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker as the Suns top three scorers age 22 or younger.

WHAT HE’S SAYING

GROWTH DURING YEAR 2: “It was a few things. Obviously, it was my three-point shot. I think it got a lot better. My percentages will tell you that. Another thing that I think I got better at, just learning how to play the game. I think my shot selection this year was a lot better than last year. I think I turned the ball over a little bit less this year than I did last year. Just making small growths like that is all I can really ask for at the end of the day.” 

TEAM PROGRESSION 

GROWTH OF THE TEAM: “None of us have really been playing together that long. I think the people that have been playing the longest is me and Book and that’s not long at all. To have guys come in in the middle of the season, it’s definitely not easy. New guys every year. You’ve just got to do the best you can with it. Thankfully we love all the guys that have ever played for our team. They’ve all been great people and great players, so it’s been pretty easy to gel with everybody and gain chemistry. It’s something that definitely takes time and we’re not exactly where we want to be yet, but if we can stick together for a while longer and continue to learn and grow together, we could be really special down the road.” 

WHAT HAS HELPED MOVE THIS TEAM IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION: “We’re a young group. Everybody in our program is learning. If we can stick together and keep learning together, that’s the biggest thing for us.” 

SURPRISES WITH THE ROOKIES: “One thing that surprised me, I was really surprised with Deandre and how quick of a learner he was. I was surprised at how open all the rookies were to just receiving information and listening. I was more surprised with that because when you look around our team, we don’t have many old guys. To hear direction from a guy like me or a guy like Dragan in his third year and be able to receive that and take positive things away from it, it was really impressive.”

LEARNING FROM THE VET

GETTING TO KNOW CRAWFORD: “It’s been amazing. I’ve been a fan of Jamal for a really, really, really long time. I used to think about it all year like ‘I’m really on a team with Jamal Crawford. That’s crazy.’ I think I learned a lot from him just by watching him. The way he carries himself, he’s the ultimate pro. You don’t play this long in this league if you don’t take care of your body and you don’t do thing you need to do. He’s literally the answer of everything you need to know about the game.”

BIGGEST LESSON CRAWFORD TAUGHT HIM: “The biggest lesson to me was just to be myself. He knows that as players we can kind of get discouraged when we look at our record and we’re not doing as good, but he always told me to be myself. Just come out and play my game. I’m in the league for a reason and just come out and show that every night.” 

EXPECTING TO TAKE ON LEADERSHIP ROLE AS SOPHOMORE: “Honestly, no I wasn’t [expecting to this early on in career]. I feel like it’s something that I learned how to do from my high school days, being the best player on my team, being one of the best players on my college team. I’ve always had to be vocal and looked at as a leader. I was definitely surprised a little bit, but it was something I was used to.

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