The play of Andre Jackson Jr. was one of the bright spots during the Milwaukee Bucks’ 124-101 loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night. At the end of the day, this was nothing more than a non-bearing preseason game, but at the same time, it’s great to see the development of Milwaukee’s young stud as he enters his debut campaign in the NBA.
Milwaukee Bucks Coach Adrian Griffin Wants Everyone to Be Ready
It wasn’t a perfect performance by any means, though. Early in the second quarter, the Bucks committed a 24-second violation, which was thanks in large part to Jackson opting not to take an open shot. The 21-year-old knew right away that it was a misstep on his end.
After the game, Bucks head coach Adrian Griffin commented on Jackson’s performance in the loss, and the first-year shot-caller could not help but send his young guy a stern reminder about taking his chances:
“Everyone on the floor should be a threat, and when you’re open, you shoot it,” Griffin said, via Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
To be fair to Jackson, he no longer hesitated after that. He ended up missing his next attempt from deep, but he also knocked down a nice-looking side-step triple to beat the shot-clock buzzer during another sequence.
This is all part of the learning process for the Bucks’ second-round pick.
Adrian Griffin Heaps Praise on Andre Jackson Jr.
Coach Griffin had more to say about Jackson, including how the young man has been working hard behind the scenes to fine-tune his game. Griffin believes that Jackson is now seeing the benefits of his hard work:
“I think ‘Dre is really progressing well. Just love his energy and defense, his attention to detail, crashing the offensive boards and playing extremely hard out there,” Griffin continued. “He works hard on his shot and it’s good to see him some of the rewards. I know it’s early on, it’s a long season, I know he’s not where he wants to be, but the work is. His attitude and the way he approaches his craft everyday of trying to get a little bit better and it was encouraging to see his first open three, he took it, nailed it, made another tough shot. I’m going to continue to encourage him to take those shots because you just gotta take what the defense gives you. When you turn down those shots it’s when you look back, driving into traffic, driving into the help and then it’s hard. Very rarely do you get a better shot in the NBA. He’s learning and it’s one thing I’m constantly in his ear (about) — if you’re open, let it fly.”
Jackson finished Tuesday’s defeat with 12 points on 5-of-13 shooting. He went just 2-of-8 from beyond the arc, but he also logged two rebounds, three assists, two steals, and zero turnovers in 20 minutes off the bench.
Coach Griffin clearly has a lot of confidence in the former UConn standout, and it seems like Jackson is going to get his fair share of chances this coming season. He will just need to be ready when his opportunities come.
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