'If they throw it up, I can go get it': Isaiah Jackson returns to action, plays three games in three nights
Jackson played two games in the G League, then contributed to the Pacers' win on Friday. "I feel like it helped me this last game just with my confidence..."
For one week, Isaiah Jackson didn’t play in a game. Not one minute. He had fallen out of the rotation and was staying ready on the bench.
Then, several days later, he played three games in three nights in three different cities.
Oh, and for two different teams.
To get some game reps and stay in game shape, the second-year big man out of the University of Kentucky was assigned to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants last week to play in at least two games last week.
Wednesday in Fort Wayne: 24 points, 12 rebounds
Thursday in Grand Rapids: 17 points, nine rebounds, four blocks
Friday in Indianapolis, for Pacers-Blazers: 12 points, two blocks in 15 minutes
And in that win over the Trail Blazers on Friday, Jackson was called upon early because Jalen Smith (right hand soreness) was out and Myles Turner picked up two early fouls.
Jackson made 4 of 5 shots in the game and each of them were right around the basket.
“I just found out he played three games in the last three days, which is crazy,” guard Tyrese Haliburton said after the win. “But he’s 21, he’ll be fine.”
Head coach Rick Carlisle referenced Jackson’s age one day later. However, Jackson is only 20.
At least for a few more days.
”Everybody’s been saying it,” Jackson said with a grin after practice. He’ll celebrate his 21st birthday on Tuesday.
Jackson was scheduled to take Saturday’s Pacers practice off after his schedule last week. But he’s young, a fast healer and eager for more.
“A little tired, but I feel like that’s all mental for me right now,” he said. “I just want to see how hard I can push myself. … I was like I might as well just to keep that momentum up. I feel good for the most part. My body is holding up real well, mentally I’m there. I’m just a little tired. But that’s nothing a couple of naps can’t help.”