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Player-by-Player: Jarrett Jack

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Minutes--  Last Year:  33.6  This Year: 27.2  Change:  -6.4

Points-- Last Year: 12.0  This Year:  9.9  Change:  -2.1

Field Goals Attempted--  Last Year:  8.9  This Year: 7.6  Change:  -1.3

Field Goal Percentage--  Last Year: 45.4% This Year:  43.0% Change:  -2.4%

Three-Pointers Attempted--  Last Year:  2.3  This Year: 2.3 Change:  0.0

Three-Point Percentage--  Last Year:  35.0%  This Year: 34.2%  Change:  -0.8%

Free Throws Attempted--  Last Year:  3.5 This Year:  3.0 Change:  -0.5

Free Throw Percentage-- Last Year: 87.1%  This Year: 86.7%  Change:  -0.4%

Effective Field Goal Percentage-- Last Year: 49.9%  This Year:  48.2%  Change:  -1.7%

Offensive Rebounds-- Last Year: 0.2  This Year:  0.5 Change:  +0.3

Defensive Rebounds-- Last Year: 2.6  This Year: 3.3  Change:  +0.7

Overall Rebounds-- Last Year: 2.8  This Year: 3.8  Change:  +1.0

Assists-- Last Year: 5.7  This Year: 5.1  Change:  -0.6

Steals--  Last Year: 1.2  This Year: 1.0  Change:  -0.2

Blocks-- Last Year:  0.1 This Year:  0.0  Change:  -0.1

Turnovers-- Last Year: 2.5  This Year: 2.9  Change:  +0.4

Assist-to-Turnover Ratio-- Last Year: 2.28  This Year: 1.76  Change:  -0.52

 

Salary Status:  One year remaining at $2 million.  Possible qualifying offer after.

There are two things to know about Jarrett Jack this year.  First, he did not have a good season overall.  Second, he did not have nearly as bad of a season as most of his virulent detractors would paint…or more accurately to the extent he did have a disappointing season it did not have anywhere near the effect on the team that those detractors would claim.  The criticism during the year was overstated to the point of being uncharitable.  Had we cut Jarrett at the beginning of the season, how many wins would we have ended up with?  My guess…right around 41, give or take.  He played 20+ minutes, rain or shine, because there was nobody else at either guard spot to fill them.  He did well some games, horribly some others…but in neither case did he warrant the unfortunate vitriol directed towards him.  He was a back-up guard, and that’s it.

Among the most striking changes in Jarrett’s stats was his reduction in minutes.  The starting role was open during training camp but Steve Blake took it from Jarrett and never relinquished it.  This would be the third time in as many years the point guard position--and Jack’s role in it--had gone through a major overhaul, which may explain part of his difficulty.  At the same time the NBA requires that you overcome those difficulties and produce anyway.  The biggest question about Jarrett may be his ability to overcome his emotions.  There’s no doubt he has heart when the leather meets the floor.  His consistent willingness to drive shows that.  It’s his overarching stability in question…his ability to fight through tough situations and confidence lapses and persevere.  At least a couple times during the season he broke out with emotional outbursts on the floor, flagellating himself and apparently giving up.  That can’t happen if you want to play in this league.  To his credit these were short-lived and he ended up finishing the season strong, but then he’s always had ups and downs.  He’ll need to develop emotional and statistical consistency if he wants to keep playing.

The good parts of Jarrett’s season basically overlapped the strengths he brought in.  He’s always been most comfortable when he has license to score.  With the ball in his hand and the rim in his sights he can produce.  He was among the league leaders for three-point plays drawn from the bench.  He hit his free throws well.  His field goal percentage dropped from good to average for a guard, but you didn’t cringe when he looked to score.  His points per game dropped about the same amount as his minutes, so that’s a neutral.

The most glaring negative, noted consistently throughout the year, was his increased turnovers (despite the decreased minutes).  This was reflected particularly in his assist-to-turnover ratio, which went south dramatically.  He never found a rhythm in the offense nor discovered the ability to run it.  Neither did he prosper at the defensive end.  He has always been a little slow to be guarding opposing points and too short for opposing twos, but this year he added a propensity to get lost in the defense.  You don’t expect that from third-year players.  The only thing he did somewhat better than years past was not getting obliterated by every pick set against him.  Nonetheless, playing two positions may be too taxing for him at this stage when he has yet to settle into even one comfortably.

If Jarrett is to prosper he needs a large dose of stability.  Last year when his job description was simple and he had veterans to play off of he performed well.  This year when the game changed from night to night and there was nobody to steady the ship he got lost.  If he remains in Portland he’s going to need an anchor, a position, and a skill to capitalize on.  He’s cheap to retain, which works in his favor, but it remains to be seen whether the Blazers have the patience to ride with him until his worth is proven or disproven.  It’s also an open question whether his skill set is suited to the needs of the New Blazers or whether they’ll find veteran upgrades at point and shooting guard to give them similar production with more predictability.

Verdict:

Jack1_medium

                        Not quite sure about that season, Baby.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)