Suns' Josh Jackson aims to maintain aggressiveness, cut down on turnovers

When Suns coach Earl Watson compared rookie forward Josh Jackson to Russell Westbrook, when Westbrook was a rookie in

When Suns coach Earl Watson compared rookie forward Josh Jackson to Russell Westbrook, when Westbrook was a rookie in Oklahoma City, he meant it as a compliment.

Like Westbrook, Jackson is an elite athlete who plays with great energy and can fill up a box score. Through three preseason games Jackson is averaging 13 points and five rebounds per game and, encouragingly, is shooting 60 percent from 3-point range.

But Jackson also is averaging 5.7 turnovers per contest, a result of, like Westbrook, sometimes playing too fast for his own good.

“It’s different from college because it’s more of a thinking game,” Jackson said. “A lot of things out there I see happening on the court it’s just read and react. As an offensive player you have to be able to know what you have to do off what they give you.”

Jackson’s turnover rate is not atypical. As he said: “It’s part of the process. It just takes time and maturity.”

Watson said Monday that he’d like to see Jackson “slow down and make good decisions.” But it’s a fine line. Phoenix doesn’t want Jackson playing cautiously. If he’s going to make a mistake, make it playing hard and then learn from it.

“A lot of my turnovers have come from not being able to read what the defense is doing and trying to force a play when it wasn’t there,” Jackson said. “You can still play fast while doing all those things at the same time.”

One of the attributes the Suns like most about Jackson is that he’s a quick learner. The mistakes he’s making in the preseason, they believe, will help him in the regular season.

“I think that’s the best way to learn,” Jackson said. “Get out there and be able to make the mistakes, get back out there and get another shot at it.”

Hinting at lineup?

Watson said that if everyone's healthy – T.J. Warren sat out Wednesday's game with a back contusion – he'll likely go with his regular-season starting lineup in Friday's preseason finale against the Brisbane Bullets.

Watson wouldn't divulge what that lineup will look like but he seemed to give a hint that Tyson Chandler will be his starting center with this statement: 

“As we saw through preseason we need veteran leadership to start the game,” Watson said. “Our starts have been challenging. We need guys out there who have been there and done that.”

Outsiders’ view

TNT held a conference call with NBA analysts Reggie Miller and Chris Webber on  Wednesday to preview the season. Here’s what they had to say about the Suns:

Miller: “You build around Devin Booker. To me he is probably a top-five shooting guard at such a young age. You go out and draft a defensive specialist and all-around great player at Kansas in Josh Jackson. What are my expectations for the Phoenix Suns in the loaded Western Conference? They’re looking at a lottery pick again. It’s probably going to be hard knocks for the Phoenix Suns but they do have young talent in Booker and Jackson to build around.”

Webber: “Now is the time for Phoenix fans to earn their stripes so when success comes five, six, seven years down the road they can say don’t jump on the bandwagon. I think they’re building the right way. We’ve seen teams make a gamble after older players and maybe they handicap their franchise for the next two, three or four seasons. I think patience is something that can be appreciated. They’re going to need a lot of patience this year because it’s going to be trying times for a young team.”

Bennett, Jok waived

The Suns waived former No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett and shooting guard Peter Jok Wednesday. Neither had played in the preseason and both are expected to join the NAZ Suns of the G-League. Phoenix has 18 players on its roster. Teams can carry up to 15 players in the regular season.

 

 

 

suns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 1 Phoenix Suns players huddle before taking the court for pre-season NBA action against the Portland Trail Blazers at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Ariz. October 11, 2017.  Michael Chow/azcentral sportssuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 2 Phoenix Suns center Tyson Chandler (4) jumps in the air before paying Portland Trail Blazers in pre-season NBA action at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Ariz. October 11, 2017.  Michael Chow/azcentral sportssuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 3 Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) dives for a loose ball with Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson (20) during the first quarter in pre-season NBA action at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Ariz. October 11, 2017.  Michael Chow/azcentral sportssuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 4 Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson (20) grabs a loose ball from Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) during the first quarter in pre-season NBA action at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Ariz. October 11, 2017.  Michael Chow/azcentral sportssuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 5 Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe (2) looks to pass against the Portland Trail Blazers during the first quarter in pre-season NBA action at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Ariz. October 11, 2017.  Michael Chow/azcentral sportssuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 6 Phoenix Suns guard Tyler Ulis (8) passes the ball while defended by Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) during the first quarter in pre-season NBA action at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Ariz. October 11, 2017.  Michael Chow/azcentral sportssuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 7 Phoenix Suns center Tyson Chandler (4) high-fives center Alex Len (21) during a substitution against the Portland Trail Blazers during the first quarter in pre-season NBA action at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Ariz. October 11, 2017.  Michael Chow/azcentral sportssuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 8 Phoenix Suns guard Mike James (55) defends Portland Trail Blazers guard/forward Pat Connaughton (5) during the first quarter in pre-season NBA action at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Ariz. October 11, 2017.  Michael Chow/azcentral sportssuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 9 Phoenix Suns forward Dragan Bender (35) looks for a rebound against the Portland Trail Blazers during the first quarter in pre-season NBA action at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Ariz. October 11, 2017.  Michael Chow/azcentral sportssuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 10 Phoenix Suns guard Tyler Ulis (8) passes the ball while defended by Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) during the first quarter in pre-season NBA action at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Ariz. October 11, 2017.  Michael Chow/azcentral sportssuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 11 Phoenix Suns head coach Earl Watson argues a call with referee Bill Spooner (22) during the second quarter in pre-season NBA action against the Portland Trail Blazers at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Ariz. October 11, 2017.  Michael Chow/azcentral sportssuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 12 Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson (20) defends Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum (3) during the second quarter in pre-season NBA action at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Ariz. October 11, 2017.  Michael Chow/azcentral sportssuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 13 Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts watches his team play against the Phoenix Suns during the second quarter in pre-season NBA action at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Ariz. October 11, 2017.  Michael Chow/azcentral sportssuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 14 Phoenix Suns forward Marquese Chriss (0) runs back on defense against the Portland Trail Blazers during the first quarter in pre-season NBA action at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Ariz. October 11, 2017.  Michael Chow/azcentral sportssuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 15 Phoenix Suns players put their arms around each other during the National Anthem before playing against the Portland Trail Blazers in pre-season NBA action at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Ariz. October 11, 2017.  Michael Chow/azcentral sportssuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 16 Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe (2) is introduced before playing against the Portland Trail Blazers in pre-season NBA action at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Ariz. October 11, 2017.  Michael Chow/azcentral sportssuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 17 Phoenix Suns guard Elijah Millsap, left, has his shot blocked by Utah Jazz forward Joel Bolomboy (21) as he drives to the basket during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, in Phoenix.  Ralph Freso, APsuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 18 Utah Jazz forward Jonas Jerebko (8) shoots as Phoenix Suns' Dragan Bender, center, and Alex Len defend during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, in Phoenix.  Ralph Freso, APsuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 19 Phoenix Suns center Alex Len (21) attempts a shot over the defense of Utah Jazz center Tony Bradley during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, in Phoenix. The Jazz defeated the Suns 120-102.  Ralph Freso, APsuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 20 Phoenix Suns center Tyson Chandler (4) slaps hands with fans as he leaves the court after being ejected during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, in Phoenix.  Ralph Freso, APsuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 21 Utah Jazz guard Ricky Rubio (3) drives to the basket as Phoenix Suns' Erik Bledsoe defends during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game, Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, in Phoenix.  Ralph Freso, APsuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 22 Phoenix Suns guard Erik Bledsoe (2) drives to the basket past Utah Jazz center Derrick Favors, second from right, and forward Ekpe Udoh, right, during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game, Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, in Phoenix.  Ralph Freso, APsuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 23 Utah Jazz guard Ricky Rubio, left, drives to the basket as he is guarded by Phoenix Suns' Eric Bledsoe during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game, Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, in Phoenix.  Ralph Freso, APsuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 24 Utah Jazz forward Ekpe Udoh (33) loses control of the ball under the basket as he is guarded by Phoenix Suns' Alex Len, left, and Josh Jackson (20) during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game, Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, in Phoenix.  Ralph Freso, APsuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 25 Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson (20) advances the ball up-court on a fast break as Utah Jazz forward Ekpe Udoh defends during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, in Phoenix.  Ralph Freso, APsuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 26 Utah Jazz center Derrick Favors (15) grabs an offensive rebound over Phoenix Suns' Eric Bledsoe (2) and Devin Booker during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, in Phoenix.  Ralph Freso, APsuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 27 Phoenix Suns center Alex Len (21) leaps to dunk the ball over Utah Jazz forward Thabo Sefolosha during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, in Phoenix.  Ralph Freso, APsuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 28 Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson, left, smiles as he talks with teammate Devin Booker before a preseason NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, in Phoenix.  Ralph Freso, APsuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 29 Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson (20) lays the ball up as Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, right, defends during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)  Rick Bowmer, APsuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 30 Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles, left, passes the ball as Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson (20) defends during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)  Rick Bowmer, APsuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 31 Phoenix Suns forward Marquese Chriss, left, goes to the basket as Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors (15) defends during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)  Rick Bowmer, APsuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 32 Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson, right, defends against Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles, left, during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)  Rick Bowmer, APsuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 33 Utah Jazz guard Ricky Rubio (3) defends Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe (2) during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)  Rick Bowmer, APsuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 34 Phoenix Suns guard Elijah Millsap (22) lays the ball up as Utah Jazz guard Alec Burks (10) defends during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)  Rick Bowmer, APsuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 35 Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder shouts to his team during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns on Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)  Rick Bowmer, APsuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 36 Phoenix Suns' Josh Jackson, right, and Alex Len (21) defend Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)  Rick Bowmer, APsuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 37 Utah Jazz guard Ricky Rubio, front, battles for a loose ball with Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)  Rick Bowmer, APsuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 38 Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles (2) shoots as Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe (2) defends during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)  Rick Bowmer, APsuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 39 Phoenix Suns coach Earl Watson watches during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz on Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)  Rick Bowmer, APsuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 40 Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker finds himself surrounded by Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless, center Jusuf Nurkic and center Zach Collins, right, during the second half of an NBA basketball preseason game in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017.  Steve Dykes/APsuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 41 Phoenix Suns forward Marquese Chriss blocks the shot of Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic during the first half of an NBA basketball preseason game in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017.  Steve Dykes/APsuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 42 Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum shoots over Phoenix Suns forward T.J. Warren during the first half of an NBA basketball preseason game in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017.  Steve Dykes/APsuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 43 Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic goes up for a dunk over Phoenix Suns forward Marquese Chriss during the first half of an NBA basketball preseason game in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017.  Steve Dykes/APsuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 44 Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic passes the ball past Phoenix Suns forward Marquese Chriss during the first half of an NBA basketball preseason game in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017.  Steve Dykes/APsuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 45 Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless loses the ball out of bounds as Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson and forward Marquese Chriss, right, defend during the first half of an NBA basketball preseason game in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017.  Steve Dykes/APsuns-josh-jackson-aims-to-maintain-aggressiveness-cut-down-on-turnovers photo 46 Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard looks to drive the ball past Phoenix Suns forward Derrick Jones Jr. during the first half of an NBA basketball preseason game in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017.  Steve Dykes/AP

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Article Suns' Josh Jackson aims to maintain aggressiveness, cut down on turnovers compiled by www.azcentral.com

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