Josh Jackson: Summer League Recap
The Phoenix Suns rookies shined in the first Summer League action against the Sacramento Kings. Josh Jackson put on a show for the Vegas crowd as he scored 18 points while grabbing eight rebounds in his Suns debut.
“I think we are meshing together pretty well,” Jackson said. “I think it’s more important to us than any team here just because we’ve got so many guys on the Summer League team who are actually going to be expected to play major minutes this year. It’s something that we’ve really got to take serious and I think we did.”
Davon Reed shined off the bench in the victory over the Kings, as the 32nd pick in the draft put up 17 points while shooting 50 percent from the arc.
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After posting an impressive stat line in their first game, Mike James continued where he left off as the team faced the Dallas Mavericks in their second matchup.
“We wanted to make sure we had a point guard who can help our young guys play better,” Head Coach Earl Watson said. “With Mike, he can settle the team down and take over if he has to.”
James looked as if he couldn’t miss in the first half shooting 85 percent from the field and a perfect four-of-four from the arc. He finished the game with 19 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals.
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Marquese Chriss led the way for the Suns against the Rockets with 26 points and seven rebounds in their final preliminary game. Although the Suns lost, Jackson’s constant improvements were what stuck out for Chriss.
“I think Josh is ahead of his learning curve,” Chriss said. “So we’re a little faster than we expected. We’re a little ahead. He’s experienced things that most rookies don’t come to the NBA experiencing. He’s had chances to play in the tournament. He’s a skilled player and I think his game translates to the NBA.”
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In just four games, Josh Jackson had put on a show for Suns fans. His performance in the Suns round one victory over the Utah Jazz was no different.
“He’s a gamer,” Coach Marlon Garnett said. “He’s aggressive. Obviously we know what he can do on the defensive end and he’s going to continue to tap into what he can do on the offensive end.”
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The Suns may have entered Round 2 of the Summer League Tournament as the lower seed, but the team fought through adversity and refused to be looked at as a lesser team.
An early loss of Chriss (ankle sprain) left the Suns without their most NBA-experienced player and needed someone to step up and try to fill that void. The Suns did just that as they battled their way back into the game thanks to the scoring efforts of James.
“He’s getting better,” Coach Marlon Garnett said about James. “I think over the course of the week he’s gotten better. We’ve been staying on him and making sure he understands that’s what he needs to be. He has to be a floor general.”
The 26-year-old rookie scored 32 points to go along with his five assists, five rebounds and three steals.
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Reed had scored in double-digits in the Suns first five Summer League games and he continued that trend in their finale against the Kings.
“He’s a gamer,” Coach Marlon Garnett said. “He’s a shooter. He’s the typical two-way player that’s going to be great. He defends and he’s going to be able to make shots and make plays and he’s going to continue to get better.”
Jackson finished Summer League averaging 17.4 points, 9.2 rebounds (highest by all top 10 picks), 1.6 assists, 1.2 steals and 1 block per game. He was named to the 2017 All-NBA Summer League First Team.