At times last year, Jarrett Jack was the best guard on the floor for the Warriors, even when sharing it with Steph Curry. Other times, like in the second round against the Spurs, Jack’s presence on the court hurt the Warriors; poor shot selection and subpar defense from Jack saw some Golden State leads dwindle.
So, what does this mean for the Cavaliers and their new signee?
What Jarrett Jack does provide is a reliable, veteran point guard with playoff experience and the ability to create his own shot for the Cavs when the injury-plagued Kyrie Irving is not on the floor. With his scoring ability, Jack effectively took on the role of playing in late-game situations for the Warriors. Game 4 against the Spurs, Jack hit 3 huge jumpers late in the fourth en route to a comeback, forcing overtime. He finished with 12 points in the fourth quarter and OT, going 5 for 5 in the last 17 minutes of play.
During the regular season, Jack averaged 12.9 points per contest, but he boosted his output to 17.2 throughout the playoffs; he also improved his rebounding numbers and shooting proficiency in the playoffs.
Offensively, Jack will bring a lot to the table for Cleveland. Defensively, however, he may be a liability. In the San Antonio series, Jack was lost off the ball consistently, allowing good shooters to consistently knock down very critical jump shots.
The most worrying aspect of this deal was the amount of time the ball spends in Jarrett Jack’s hands when running the offense. Jack’s style of play is breaking down defenders off the dribble. While this is effective at times, the point guard has been known to over-dribble while attempting to create his shot. I think, however, with the natural court presence Kyrie has at the point, Jack might take his role as filling in for Irving when he needs a breather and plays as second to Kyrie off the dribble when sharing minutes with Dion Waiters.
With his experience, Jack should provide a lot for Kyrie Irving in not only rest, but as someone else who has been known to make big-game shots. Kyrie could use another player to share the load in crunch time with Dion Waiters still maturing. He we also be a great addition to the young dynamic scoring duo that is Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. Though the backcourt isn’t necessarily defensively minded, I believe Mike Brown’s coaching will noticeably replace some of the lack he Cavaliers are looking forward to a playoff this season, and I believe Jack’s assets will be at a maximum when the playoffs roll around.
Jarrett Jack (Photo credit: AP)