Isaiah Jackson has 'historical night' as rookies combine for 65 points in win over Clippers
The 22nd overall pick was in the starting lineup and finished the night with water dumped on his head in the locker room after contributing 26 points and 10 rebounds.
Rick Carlisle may be the Pacers’ head coach, but before Monday’s game against the Clippers, he sure sounded more like an athletic trainer as he ran down the roster to provide injury updates.
Domantas Sabonis entered the health and safety protocols so he would be away for a week and the Pacers would now be down four starters. Reserves Goga Bitadze and Oshae Brissett are day-to-day with minor injuries. Myles Turner is progressing, Malcolm Brogdon played 1-on-1 against T.J. Warren earlier in the day, and T.J. McConnell had a pin removed from his right hand two months after surgery.
Oh yeah, and they had a game in 75 minutes.
Jackson, who just turned 20 years old, found out like many fans Monday afternoon that Sabonis was out. This was his moment, it had to be. The Pacers used their 20th different starting lineup in 52 games and for the first time, Jackson was part of it.
This was The Isaiah Jackson Game.
He had a productive night — “a historical night for me,” he said — finishing with 26 points and 10 rebounds, both careers highs. Moreover, foul trouble had been an ongoing issue for the rookie, but he wasn’t called for one in 30 minutes of action. He made 12 of 19 shots, including one 3-pointer and four dunks.
“He did such a great job in every area tonight and when we talked in the draft, when we picked him at 22, about the need for athleticism and a rim threat, this is what we’re talking about.
“When I saw his college films and then we worked him out, it’s just like, ‘Wow’ watching him. The ability to leap high is one thing, but his speed is breathtaking too.”
Yes… now you’re seeing why the Pacers were so high on Jackson going back to the summer. And just look at his length in the photo above. Jackson is the starting center for the time being, but Carlisle envisions him also being able to play the 4.