Instead of giving my opinion of players performances this season, I thought I'd ask the players themselves to assess particular areas of their game. Here is what Jarrett Jack had to say, along with some various pertinent quantifiables.
“I’m right at the same thing; I think I’m like a percentage point off from where I was last year. I think I’ve taken more attempts and I think I feel more comfortable when I’m shooting the ball on the perimeter.”
Jack’s three point percentage dipped ever so slightly in the ’07-’08 season, going from 35% last year to 34% this year. He took two more three’s this season (65) than he did last season in 422 fewer minutes, which speaks to his increased confidence from beyond the arc. It probably also says something the different way Nate McMillan used Jack this year.
Interesting note: Jarrett Jack shot considerably better from three while playing away from the Rose Garden. Jack shot 38% from beyond the arc in the 41 away games compared to 32% in home games. What's more, he shot significantly better from three (40% to be exact) in the fourth quarter.
“Pretty solid. I think at times I rely on my hands a little too much, but I think for the most part, my man-on-man defense is pretty good.”
It’s doesn’t tell the whole story on defense, but Jack’s steal numbers stayed fairly consistent in ’07-’08. He did drop from 1.1 per game to 0.7, but that probably had more to do with a decrease in minutes played. His steals per 48 minutes dipped from 1.56 last season to 1.31 this season.
“Help defense is probably the best thing I do on defense. I think I’m probably one of the best players on the team when it comes to being at the right spot at the right time so if we do have a breakdown, I can cover another guy’s mistake.”
“I really did a great job of that. It was something I worked on over the summer, especially when the smaller guards are pressuring me up the court.”
Jack had some troubles with turnovers this season, though maybe not to the extent that it you would imagine when reading message boards and blogs. Jack did finish 37th in the league in total turnovers (178) 38th in turnovers per game (2.17) and 17th in turnovers per 48 minutes (3.38). It probably also didn’t help his image among fans that 36% of his turnovers this season were committed in the fourth quarter or that he lead the team in fourth quarter turnovers with 62 (the next closest players had 32 TO’s in the fourth). The good news is that he finished 37th in assists per game (3.8), 39th in total assists (313) and 30th in assists per 48 minutes (6.7). Those are decent numbers when you consider Jack played a considerable about of minutes at the two-guard this season.
“Pretty well, pretty much the same as I was last year, upper 80’s. Hopefully I can improve it next year into the 90 range.”
Jack excelled from the charity stripe this season, finishing 13th in the league in free-throw percentage (86.7%).
“Pretty good. With me, I had to take on a new type of role this year, playing the two guard position. A lot of the shots at first I wasn’t comfortable with but now they’re starting to become comfortable so I’m knocking those down at a higher rate.”
Jack’s field-goal percentage when from 45% last year to 43% this year. You’d like to see it go the other direction, but 2 points isn’t a horrible drop.
Defending the fast break
‘That’s always tough. The numbers are always in the opponents favor, but you try to do the best job you can, try to force as many passes as possible and allow your teammates to rotate back on defense.”
Running the fast break
“I think we did a better job of that, playing a little bit more of an up-tempo style this year, for the most part. I think we’ve come a ways since last year.”
“I think in the NBA, it goes up and down. It’s a long season. You have those stretches where you feel good about it and some where you think you’re struggling. I think everybody goes up and down”