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Thread: Anyone Else Starting To Get Hyped About Jax?

  1. #1

    Anyone Else Starting To Get Hyped About Jax?

    Call me crazy but I think Jax could really become the legit unicorn center we need next to Zion. Since the tank commenced Jax seems to have a bit more freedom and has been shooting the open 3 a bit and knocking it down. He's a very good FT shooter. He shows flashes defensively and you can tell when you watch him over time how hard he's working on his verticality and defensive awareness. He's efficient and seems to have a pretty decent touch. He's super athletic with decent lateral speed.

    He could really become our stretch big who plays D and boards hard.

    I don't ever seem him being able to out muscle guys but you can't have everything.

    I'm actually getting excited for Jax developing into our starting 5.

    How about you guys?

  2. #2
    I said when we drafted him that he was going to need work and some time to grow and learn the game properly but that his ceiling was absurdly high as a potentially switchable legit 7 footer with upside as a possible shooter.

    All of that remains true. I was on the Jax train from day 1 and I still have my ticket.
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  3. #3
    I want my starting lineup of:

    Mobley
    Jax
    Zion
    Ingram
    Naw


    But in all seriousness, he has been great! I'd love for him to be starting next season, but the way they seem to do things it may be a year later.

  4. #4
    Pistol Pete Would Be Proud!!
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    When he was drafted, I was one of those who wanted him to be sent down to the G League for seasoning. We all know his back story. He didn't become a starter until his senior year in high school where he grew from a 6' 0" guard as a freshman to a strapping 6'10" highly coveted center. Then, he played just one year at the University Texas before declaring for the NBA. Unlike most lottery selections, JAXSON did not have an long amateur career (AAU) either, so his exposure to frontline competitive basketball was primarily his one year in college and one year high school. When Derek Favors fell to injury early last year followed by a few personal absences, the Pelicans turned to JAXSON (do we all remember the 13 game losing streak), and frankly, he laid an egg and understandably so...he simply wasn't properly prepared. Eventually the team turned to Jahlil Okafor and when Favors did return, JAXSON's minutes dried up considerably.

    Further, he was pushed further down the depth chart when the team eventually launched Zion in January with Nikola Melli serving as the primary 'big' reserve. So in the end, I still hold to the belief that the Pelicans did JAXSON no favors by rushing him instead farming him out to learn the game in 2019-20. I can't help but believe that a full season in the G League would have benefitted him enormously much in the same way the Erie experience benefitted Naji Marshall this year.

    With this as the backdrop, I have said from the beginning that there were three players on the team that I consider 'almost' untouchable in the open market...Zion, BI, and JAXSON. I fervently believe that JAXSON is not a keeper for what he is now (I have my doubt whether he is starter material even with his recent showings), but for what he will be in three or four years. The scope of his potential is as wide a gap as I recall in quite some time. Not only has he got an extraordinarily high ceiling, but he also has a very low floor unless he learns the game.

    MM makes a great point when he said many players, because of their age, do not make their mark with the initial team that drafts them. I hope JAXSON is the exception rather than the rule.
    Last edited by As I See It; 05-14-2021 at 01:27 AM.

  5. #5
    I wouldnt say hyped - as in I think he can and will definitely be an above average starter. But I do think that he will be, at least, a very good 20-25 mpg rotation piece by the end of his year 3/beginning of year 4. And I didnt feel that way through the first few months of this season. A switch flipped when SVG benched him and Willy played well. His ceiling hasnt changed for me - I said a longer Ibaka on draft night. But his floor has shifted to something like 2018-19 Cody Zeller, which was a fine rotational big. I would say his median outcome is something like Nurkic level impact. Not playing like him, just that level of impact where he helps more than he hurts and can elevate a B team without him to a B+ most nights and an A- some nights
    @mcnamara247

  6. #6
    Early in the year I was starting to think he was a lost cause. That while he had great physical tools, he may not be able to mentally figure out the game. Fortunately, any mental issues he had seem to be a result of his immaturity as opposed to any cognitive limitations, because he seems to be figuring things out quickly now.

    HIs biggest issue currently is still his strength. Some of the bigger centers still have their way with him. So fingers crossed, that his dad's NFL genes will kick in soon and he keeps adding muscle to his frame. Because once he catches up in the strength department i think he could be a legit all star caliber center.

  7. #7
    My hesitation is: Is he figuring stuff out or is this just the time of year where randoms produce good games? Go look at any box score on a given day from the past month and you will see guys you have never heard of putting up good to great stat lines.

    Do we see Naji and Jaxson, etc as diamonds just starting to show their ability unexpectedly because they are on the team we watch all the time? Because if you want to give those two the benefit of the doubt that their good games prove they are ready to turn the corner going into next year, then you gotta give about 50 players that same benefit of the doubt. Heck, at this rate, Kenyon Martin Jr will be All NBA next year

  8. #8
    It is too small a sample size. But if this guy keeps improving on the defensive end and keeps trending like he is offensively, he can be very very good. What stands out about Jax is he has the capability to expand his range and become better with the ball in his hands. Man is skilled. Question is whether he can put it all together. We have a long offseason ahead of us. I’m curious to see what steps he can take next year.

  9. #9
    A Soulful Sports Fan Contributor Eman5805's Avatar
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    It’s a good thing regardless of circumstance. The hard part is this off-season. He started hitting 3s. Is this his track? Does he go harder since he sees shots falling? Is now the time for trying to turn into a stretch? I don’t know. I just want him to continue to get more powerful and smarter defensively.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Eman5805 View Post
    It’s a good thing regardless of circumstance. The hard part is this off-season. He started hitting 3s. Is this his track? Does he go harder since he sees shots falling? Is now the time for trying to turn into a stretch? I don’t know. I just want him to continue to get more powerful and smarter defensively.
    I can't remember who tweeted it, but I saw someone say that spending Jax's first two seasons without very much focus on expanding his offensive game and putting those minutes towards developing his defense and fundamentals is the right track because he's such a fluid mover and seems to have a naturally nice shot, that those things will probably be the easier things to add. I tend to agree.

    I don't think Jax is ever going to be some KAT level super-sniping big, but I think the jump from where he is now to being a league average shooter on low-to-medium volume (like 36% on 2 a game) is not a particularly large jump. I'm very glad that we spent his early time with the team focusing on improving those basics that take way more time.

    Get him in the gym, try and add some muscle, give him room to work on his jumper, and have him doing defense drills all off-season. That's the short term path for him, imo.

  11. #11
    What you like about both Naji and Jax is that their play hasn't risen over recent stretches. They've both been pretty consistent over the last few MONTHS. Naji's first near double-double came just 3 games after he came back from the g-league. Which is really the only time he started to get decent minutes.

    Jax has been playing well since he came out SVG's dog house back in early March

    The flash type player on this team has been Wenyen Gabriel. Not Naji and most definitely not Jax.

    Their progression and growth has been real. It just needs to be maintained and expanded over the off-season. I do not believe in momentum.
    Last edited by luckyman; 05-14-2021 at 11:55 PM.

  12. #12
    Jax looks fantastic

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelMcNamara View Post
    My hesitation is: Is he figuring stuff out or is this just the time of year where randoms produce good games? Go look at any box score on a given day from the past month and you will see guys you have never heard of putting up good to great stat lines.

    Do we see Naji and Jaxson, etc as diamonds just starting to show their ability unexpectedly because they are on the team we watch all the time? Because if you want to give those two the benefit of the doubt that their good games prove they are ready to turn the corner going into next year, then you gotta give about 50 players that same benefit of the doubt. Heck, at this rate, Kenyon Martin Jr will be All NBA next year
    Fair call, I'd say a bit of both. I think with Zion and Ingram out the role players are getting to show more of their game, and I think Jax has some promising intangibles with coordination, reflex, motor. The fact he hasn't played a whole lot of basketball and seems to have a decent stroke is a great sign, his touch around the rim is OK, but I've been most impressed by his strides on defense. He can definitely be a long term backup at worst but I think he may get a starting role in 2 or 3 seasons.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Impose View Post
    Fair call, I'd say a bit of both. I think with Zion and Ingram out the role players are getting to show more of their game, and I think Jax has some promising intangibles with coordination, reflex, motor. The fact he hasn't played a whole lot of basketball and seems to have a decent stroke is a great sign, his touch around the rim is OK, but I've been most impressed by his strides on defense. He can definitely be a long term backup at worst but I think he may get a starting role in 2 or 3 seasons.
    I also think you have to view things as a trend.

    It's not like Jax is sucking every game but then randomly producing one good game out of ten, thus being the ''random'' who is having their ''good to great'' night. Instead, he has been clearly better for like, 26 games now. Of course that's still a relatively small sample size, and not every one of those games has had a gaudy statline (though I would highlight the importance of understanding that a good game doesn't always require big box score stats) but it's been an improvement that's been sustained for a long enough period of time for me to believe that it, combined with the flashes he has shown in the past and my own projections of his potential pre-draft, to think that this is plausibly real improvement rather than random outlier stuff.

  15. #15
    Pistol Pete Would Be Proud!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelicanidae View Post
    I also think you have to view things as a trend.

    It's not like Jax is sucking every game but then randomly producing one good game out of ten, thus being the ''random'' who is having their ''good to great'' night. Instead, he has been clearly better for like, 26 games now. Of course that's still a relatively small sample size, and not every one of those games has had a gaudy statline (though I would highlight the importance of understanding that a good game doesn't always require big box score stats) but it's been an improvement that's been sustained for a long enough period of time for me to believe that it, combined with the flashes he has shown in the past and my own projections of his potential pre-draft, to think that this is plausibly real improvement rather than random outlier stuff.
    When evaluating JAXSON's improvement, you must factor in the fact that he is being spotted (for the most part). Rarely will he ever play against muscle. This is not to say there is no improvement, but enthusiasm for the improvement should be tempered somewhat.

  16. #16
    Really not a fan of SVG's comments about Jax after last night's game. That didnt sound good at all.

  17. #17
    A Soulful Sports Fan Contributor Eman5805's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckyman View Post
    Really not a fan of SVG's comments about Jax after last night's game. That didnt sound good at all.
    Cliff notes?

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Eman5805 View Post
    Cliff notes?
    Guillory asked about Jax expanding his offensive game. SVG says...

    --(Jax) needs to concentrate on doing what he does well
    --not so sure he needs to expand his game to be good
    --he needs to keep doing what works for him

    Another reporter decided to follow up and asked specifically what Jax does well that he needs to stay with
    --rim run, PnR, offensive glass, "high energy", finish around the basket, active on defense
    --people make a mistake in thinking the way to get better is to expand your game
    --sometimes you want to expand people games...sometimes you want to narrow it down

    That last comment is worrisome. Not the things you say about a high upside 20 year old with still a fairly open canvas.

  19. #19
    SVG is dead on with that comment. Master something and then expand. Diallo did what Jax is trying to.do now and he ended up a master of nothing. Become Capela first and then if you wanna work on your.jumper, cool

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyman View Post
    Guillory asked about Jax expanding his offensive game. SVG says...

    --(Jax) needs to concentrate on doing what he does well
    --not so sure he needs to expand his game to be good
    --he needs to keep doing what works for him

    Another reporter decided to follow up and asked specifically what Jax does well that he needs to stay with
    --rim run, PnR, offensive glass, "high energy", finish around the basket, active on defense
    --people make a mistake in thinking the way to get better is to expand your game
    --sometimes you want to expand people games...sometimes you want to narrow it down

    That last comment is worrisome. Not the things you say about a high upside 20 year old with still a fairly open canvas.
    It think it depends on what SVG really meant. If he means ''keep working on the fundamentals and the core skills that will always be important, and then the other stuff is secondary'' then I'm fine with that. If he means ''only ever do the fundamental stuff and stop spending any time working on the other stuff'' then I think it's a hugely problematic thing to say.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Pelicanidae View Post
    It think it depends on what SVG really meant. If he means ''keep working on the fundamentals and the core skills that will always be important, and then the other stuff is secondary'' then I'm fine with that. If he means ''only ever do the fundamental stuff and stop spending any time working on the other stuff'' then I think it's a hugely problematic thing to say.
    I think it’s Stan’s learn to walk before you can run argument which makes sense. I don’t think he is stupid enough to just dog on a player for trying new things and expanding their game. I’d hope not anyways

  22. #22
    What does Jaxson already do well - as in so well that you would have him playing important minutes in a playoff series and expect him to be a net positive?

    Does he hustle? Sure, but everyone does in the playoffs.

    Make buckets around the rim with decent regularity and hit his FTs? Yeah, okay

    Make others better? Rebound at a high level? Play defense at a high level? Nope.

    I would say he is a 5 or 6 in most categories. Make some of those 8's or 9's, heck make one a 10. And then improve the other categories. But first show something that you do that makes you irreplaceable and valuable.

  23. #23
    Charter Member PELICANSFAN's Avatar
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    I wonder if that is a dig on him trying to take 3s in a game. Not sure how expanding his range takes away from the other things he does around the basket. I agree he should concentrate on those things, but taking a 3 every so often (maybe 1 every game or two) does not really take away from that IMO, unless he gets carried away with it.

  24. #24
    Those dribble moves he had against GSW leading to buckets. I don't think we've seen them before

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by PELICANSFAN View Post
    I wonder if that is a dig on him trying to take 3s in a game. Not sure how expanding his range takes away from the other things he does around the basket. I agree he should concentrate on those things, but taking a 3 every so often (maybe 1 every game or two) does not really take away from that IMO, unless he gets carried away with it.
    I have a hard time believing Stan is THAT close minded. But alas, Stan is an old school guy and his approach on both sides of the ball have cost us quite a few games. Maybe he is just trying to prepare us for down the road or he could just be stubborn. I hope it isn’t the latter. Jax becoming a factor with the ball in his hands and with his shot will pay dividends. All we can do is wait and see how he progresses and hope Stan isn’t insinuating that (which I don’t believe he is).

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