The Milwaukee Bucks may have found a hidden gem in second round pick Andre Jackson Jr. in this year’s draft.
While it’s important to keep in mind that the Summer League is only a small sample size (and it’s only the Summer League), the 36th overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft has showcased a number of skills that could potentially contribute to the Bucks’ regular season. campaign.
It’s rare for rookies to have a positive impact on a championship-contending team, as we saw in last year’s playoffs, when only the Denver Nuggets’ Christian Braun managed to crack a playoff rotation past the second round, playing just 13 minutes per game. match.
But sometimes it’s all about finding the right fit. The Bucks are looking for a boost in athleticism and energy, and Jackson appears to possess those qualities and more. Let’s examine five reasons why the rookie could earn significant playing time for the Bucks this season.
Jackson Jr.’s outlet passing might seem like a nominal skill, but its impact on the Bucks’ offense could be far-reaching. With the NBA’s most dominant one-man fastbreak force in Giannis Antetokounmpo, giving him more opportunities in the open court could significantly improve the team’s offensive prowess.
Historically, the Bucks have excelled in transition and thrive on steals and live rebounds when Antetokounmpo leads the offense. Jackson Jr. possesses a natural instinct to secure a rebound and quickly scan the court for a push-ahead pass. That ability should allow Antetokounmpo and his teammates to generate additional fastbreak opportunities in each game – a facet of the game that new head coach Adrian Griffin appears to prioritize.
These next three attributes of Jackson Jr. complement each other seamlessly and their combined impact on the pitch is truly special. One of his notable skills is his ability to float in from the perimeter and slam home a powerful putback dunk after a missed shot. Additionally, he possesses a subtle ability to locate open areas and use his athleticism and size to grab rebounds. In fact, during his senior year at Connecticut, he made an impressive 7.6 percent of his team’s missed shots—an outstanding rate that would have ranked fourth among all NBA wings last season.
Under Griffin, the Bucks want to inject more off-ball movement, a much-needed addition from the isolation-heavy and stagnant offense seen under former coach Mike Budenholzer. But for this style of play to thrive, the roster needs players who can excel in those roles.
With spot-up shooters like Grayson Allen, Jae Crowder and Brook Lopez already on the team, the addition of Jackson Jr. a new dimension as an exceptional cutter. Utilizing his athleticism, he can use his off-the-ball skills to make precise cuts and lifts for finishes at the rim. It will be exciting to watch Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton figure out how to play with such an active off-ball player.
While the term “non-stop motor” may be an overused cliché in basketball, there’s no doubt it fits Jackson Jr. He possesses unwavering energy and relentless movement at both ends of the court. Constantly looking for ways to contribute to his team’s success, he never shies away from diving for loose balls, crashing the boards or sacrificing his body by getting on the floor. His commitment and tenacity make him the epitome of a sticky guy, the type of player who brings the team together and does all the little things that go unnoticed but have a significant impact.
Standing at 6-foot-6 and weighing 200 pounds, with a wingspan that measures 6-foot-10, Jackson Jr. possesses the ideal physical attributes to defend multiple positions in the NBA. What sets him apart is that his athletic ability isn’t just a measure of his potential; it also means success on the field.
His primary defensive assignment will be guarding wings, where his combination of size, length and agility allow him to match up well against stronger opponents. But he also has the versatility to slide down and use his active hands and quickness to disrupt ball handlers. As he continues to develop his physique, he could even hold his own against bigger players. This versatility aligns nicely with Griffin’s defensive scheme, further increasing his value on the court.
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