After not playing for almost the entirety of the NBA preseason up to this point, newly signed Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jarrett Jack was back on the floor in a Cavs uniform on Wednesday night as the team took on the Washington Wizards. With second-year guard Dion Waiters still being cautious with an injury, Jack actually started in Cleveland’s backcourt alongside Kyrie Irving.
Having been out of action for quite a while, the Cavs were expectedly cautious with Jack, limiting him to just 10 minutes of playing time. When he was on the floor, though, the veteran 29-year-old certainly offered a glimpse of why many people are so high on the idea of him joining the Cavaliers.
Despite being on the floor for less than a quarter’s worth of time, Jack was still able to finish the game with five points and five assists while shooting a solid 2-4 from the field and knocking down his lone attempt from beyond-the-arc. Moreover, Jack was also able to hang onto the rock, not committing a turnover in his time on the floor.
Though we have yet to see him in full force in Cleveland, it’s clear that Jack brings a great deal of value to this team. First, he brings injury insurance to this Cavs team that has had problems with injuries in recent seasons. Last year when Irving and Waiters went down, the Cavs’ backcourt was left floundering, more or less. That won’t be the case with an impressive backup like Jack.
More than that, Jack is also a player with a solid blend of scoring and facilitating ability. When he shares the floor with guys like Kyrie and Waiters, he gives those guys the luxury of being able to work off of the ball and score while Jack is running the offense as the ball-handler. This also works in reverse as Jack can also move off of the ball decently and help set up Irving for more assist opportunities.
Signing Jack obviously isn’t going to have the impact that landing Dwight Howard will for the Houston Rockets or anything that dramatically alters a team’s chances, but it’s a solid addition that will greatly help a young Cavaliers team. Cleveland has a chance to make a run at a playoff spot this year, which probably wouldn’t be as strong of a possibility had they not been able to bring in Jack.