When his number was called on Monday night, Justin Jackson answered with his best showing of the preseason to date.
After receiving the starting nod against the visiting Portland Trail Blazers, the rookie from North Carolina delivered a noteworthy performance – logging 16 points while converting three of his six attempts from beyond the arc.
No. 25 showed off his offensive versatility by scoring off of the dribble, from the perimeter, and even in the post. This was the same kind of all-around attacking style that earned him ACC Player of the Year in his final season with the Tar Heels and helped lead them to the pinnacle of college basketball with an NCAA Championship.
Though the Kings would fall to the Blazers in the contest, Jackson reflected on his efforts and willingness to contribute in any way possible.
“Whatever role coach thinks he needs me to play, that’s what role I’ll play,” said Jackson. “So whether that’s me playing like I did tonight or doing something else, whatever it is – that’s what I’ve got to step into.”
With a strong game now under his belt, Jackson can continue to build his confidence heading into the regular season in just over a week.