In a dark season, Brooklyn Nets guard Jarrett Jack has emerged as a surprise bright spot in the last two games. In the weekend’s losses to the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors, Jack totaled 49 points, 21 assists, three steals, and just three turnovers, and made up for a crucial late-game eight-second violation against the Warriors by picking off a Stephen Curry pass and hitting two free throws.
Jack, who missed four preseason practices and then the team’s first game of the season with a left hamstring injury, credited being healthy for his newfound success, before quickly retreating. Per the New York Post:
“To be honest, I’m just now fully getting healthy,” (Jack) said. “That’s neither here nor there. There’s no excuses. … Once you step between those lines, nobody wants to hear that, and neither do I, so I’m just coming out and trying to be healthy and do my best to lead this ball club.”
Jack later added that he’d tweaked the hamstring again during the season, and also suffered a bone bruise on his left knee and an undefined back issue, per the Post. That’s a lot of nicks and bumps for the first two weeks of the season, but it sounds like Jack wanted to make it clear that he didn’t view any physical limitations as excuses. That’s something players do: note the injury and try to downplay its importance.
Jack also said that his minutes dropped following the second hamstring injury, which is partially true. Jack played 34 minutes in the loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, when he said the re-tweaking occurred, and then just 27 minutes in the following game. But he followed that with a 38-minute stint against the Lakers, his season-high until playing 45 minutes in Saturday night’s overtime loss. But Jack said he suffered the bone bruise against the Lakers, and only played 28 minutes as his backup Shane Larkin shined against the Houston Rockets.
Jack struggled last year shifting in and out of the starting lineup: though he posted fine numbers, he ended the season with the league’s worst raw plus-minus of any player that spent the entire year on a playoff team. To his credit, he also had the team’s best plus-minus in the playoffs. Keeping the team level and competitive is paramount to him putting up numbers, and at least in interviews, he says as much.
“I know it’s not going to be every night that I’ll be called on to fill the stat sheet like this,” Jack said. “But as far as controlling the tempo, controlling the pace, I feel physically that I can do that now, and hopefully we can get this thing moving in the right direction.”
New York Post — Jarrett Jack is past his litany of injuries — and it shows