After putting forth one of his worst offensive efforts on the season in their previous outing against the Miami Heat, Friday night Memphis Grizzlies star Jaren Jackson Jr. went out and dropped a magnificent 30-piece on the Orlando Magic.
Aggressive right from the jump, the All-Star big was directly responsible (points and assists) for 14 of his club's 31 first quarter points and proved to be an absolute matchup nightmare through all of his 35 minutes played on the night.
Led by these efforts and, ultimately, his game-sealing hook shot late in the fourth, the Grizzlies were able to nab a hard-fought 107-106 victory over the Magic in front of a raucous crowd at FedEx Forum.
Following the contest, while being showered with love from the fans in attendance during his on-court interview with Grind City Media's Rob Fischer, Grizzlies star guard Desmond Bane cut in and heaped praise upon Jackson by issuing a five-word statement: "They can't guard that man!"
Desmond Bane hypes up Jaren Jackson Jr. after Grizzlies win vs Magic
"They can't guard that man. One-on-ones, double-teams. They can't guard that man."- Desmond Bane
Following up on his teammate's praise, Jackson acknowledged that his performance during Memphis' Wednesday night matchup on the road down in South Beach was far from ideal (15 points on 23.8 percent shooting) and that his goal against Orlando was to "just come back and play well."
In the end, that is exactly what he did and, as a result, the Grizzlies nabbed their 18 win on the season and, now, find themselves just five wins behind the Utah Jazz for the 10 and final seed in Play-In Tournament picture.
Since the calendar page flipped to 2024, Jackson has found himself on an absolute offensive tear, as he's been averaging 24.2 points throughout his 11 games played during this stretch while tacking on 6.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.6 blocks along the way.
His uptick in offensive production has already caught the attention of his coaching staff and, now, it seems his teammates can't help but point it out as well.
Hopefully he can continue to perform at such an impressive rate moving forward, especially with core guys like Bane and Marcus Smart slated to return at some point in the not-too-distant future.