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Jaren Jackson Jr. thinks early playoff exit will help Grizzlies

Jaren Jackson Jr looking on

Feb 5, 2020; Dallas, Texas, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. (13) warms up before the game against the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies suffered a disappointing first-round exit to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Playoffs despite high expectations, many of them pushed by the team itself. That may be why center Jaren Jackson Jr. believes the outcome will be good for the team.

Jackson appeared as a guest on Paul George’s “Podcast P,” and discussed the early exit and how it will motivate the team moving forward.

“I think getting humbled was the best thing for us,” Jackson said. “I think it’s gonna make us way more hungry, hungry like we were three years ago. There was no expectation on anything. We got leveled at the end of the year. We gotta sit with that all summer. We were done in May. … This is gonna be the best thing for us. We’re gonna have that edge. We’re gonna come back. We’re gonna be so hungry. We’re not gonna worry about anything. We’re gonna remember that feeling probably all the way up until the playoffs, and we’re gonna get it done.”

There is likely an element of truth to Jackson’s comments. Memphis had an excellent season, but confidence turned into arrogance at some points, such as when Ja Morant dismissed the team’s Western Conference rivals. That does not even include Dillon Brooks’ infamous LeBron James trash talk during the Western Conference quarterfinals. For a team that had not actually accomplished anything yet, it rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.

Even if the Grizzlies have learned a lesson about humility, there are other issues that look set to plague them well into next season.

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