Taylor Jenkins issues strong analysis of Grizzlies big following loss to Suns

Dec 1, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA;  Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins reacts during the
Dec 1, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins reacts during the / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Predictions were that the Memphis Grizzlies would have themselves a much better December than their previous two months of the season and, to kick things off, they nabbed their first win streak of 2023-24 with a commanding victory over the Dallas Mavericks on the 1st.

Unfortunately, said stretch couldn't extend to three in a row, as Taylor Jenkins' club fell to the title-hopeful Phoenix Suns Saturday evening.

Despite a back-and-forth first two periods, with Memphis holding a 51-50 lead heading into the break, the second half was all Phoenix as they went on a commanding 34-21 run in the third and, ultimately, pulled out a 116-109 win.

In truth, there weren't many positive takeaways from the contest, as the Grizzlies proved to be highly inefficient on both ends of the floor, shooting a lowly 9-of-31 from distance and hacked away for 31 personals.

Still, amid the turmoil there were still a select few plus performances, with coach Jenkins highlighting the bounce-back play of star big Jaren Jackson Jr. as one of them during his postgame presser.

Grizzlies' Taylor Jenkins dishes on bounce-back play of Jaren Jackson Jr.

"I mean this was a great game for him, [a] bounce-back from the other night... Really impressed with him, playing with force, physicality, getting angles on guys one one-on-one, touch [and] finishing ability has always been there. Obviously, he unleashed it tonight, obviously knocked down threes so that inside-outside game that he's capable of, stepping up to the free throw line, had ten free throws tonight, really impressive. Just continued more growth on the offensive end from him, he's very versatile. He can attract a lot of attention, he's seeing that a lot right now so when he had his windows of opportunity to go one-on-one I thought he took great advantage of it, they got him a coupled of times with some double teams, had some good assists as well, just really impressed with the work he's been putting up on that end of the floor."

Taylor Jenkins on Jaren Jackson Jr.

After putting up a dud during their previous outing against the Mavericks, a game where he dropped a mere 4 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists while shooting a putrid 25.0 percent from the field, Jackson Jr. came out looking for redemption against the Suns on Saturday.

In 35 minutes played, he certainly got it as he dropped a stellar 37 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block while shooting 61.9 percent from the floor and 40.0 percent from deep.

While Jenkins did note during his analysis that the stud big did deal with some foul trouble (four personals on the night), overall Jackson Jr. served as one of, if not the best player on the floor for large portions of the contest.

If the Grizzlies wish to get themselves back into the playoff picture between now and campaign's end, on top of the much anticipated return of superstar Ja Morant later this month, they'll need their All-Star big to produce similarly to the way he did against Phoenix on a more consistent basis.