Jack Acclimating To System Slowly
Jarrett Jack was the biggest, and best piece of a 5 player trade two weeks ago between the Hornets and Raptors. While no one will doubt Jack’s skills, it’s been slower than expected in regards to learning the Hornets system. At the time of the trade, everyone applauded GM Dell Demps for the trade, and rightfully so. While Jack hasn’t flourished in the system yet, it’s only a matter of time. John Reid of the Times Picayune covered the situation.
Demps said the Hornets landed a player who could start for most NBA teams, but they wanted him to strengthen their bench as the primary backup to point guard Chris Paul.But Jack has been slow to emerge as a factor for the Hornets, struggling through some of the same problems that former backup point guard Jerryd Bayless had after he was acquired from the Portland Trail Blazers four days before the regular-season opener.
Pressing to make an immediate impact, Bayless didn’t catch on and was traded to the Raptors, along with Peja Stojakovic, in exchange for Jack, David Andersen and Marcus Banks.
Since Coach Monty Williams’ rotation changed because of the Nov. 20 trade, the Hornets have lost four of seven games. Before the trade, the Hornets were 10-1 and tied with the San Antonio Spurs for the best record in the Western Conference.
But Williams said Jack is going to be fine, he just has to find his way and understand that he’s in a new situation.
“This is basically his training camp, and I told him he’s too hard on himself and he’s got to find the happy medium of being assertive and understanding what we do,” Williams said Thursday.
Jack is still trying to pick up Williams’ system, learn the tendencies of his teammates and end an extended shooting slump.
Going into tonight’s game against the New York Knicks at the New Orleans Arena, Jack has made five of 19 shots in the past five games.
Williams compared Jack’s difficulties to his own when he, as a player, was traded from the Knicks to the Spurs in 1996.
“I went from one team that was contending to another contending team, and it was hard to find my way,” Williams said. “The older guys just talked to me about just working on my game, and it will come. If you are good enough, your talent will bring out the stuff you need to bring out on the floor.”
In Wednesday night’s 89-73 victory against the Charlotte Bobcats, Jack appeared to spend too much time on the perimeter instead of driving through the lane to create shot opportunities for himself or teammates.
“It’s tough when you come to a team that has won some games, and you feel like you have to do more than you should do,” Williams said.
After playing 6 1/2 minutes in the first half against the Bobcats and missing all four of his shots, with one assist, Jack did not return to the game. Williams went with Willie Green and Marcus Thornton in the backcourt instead.
“The tough part in midseason is just trying to understand the flow of the game, and being the point guard and everybody kind of relying on me to get them in the right spots,” Jack said.
Jack is a talented player with a high basketball IQ. Many may complain that he hasn’t assimilated to the Hornets very quickly, but it takes many players a training camp and a quarter of a season to learn all the nuances of a new system. The Hornets, as a team, did not show much of a learning curve early in the season with Monty Williams’ style, but that’s an exception to the rule.