Jaylen Brown isn’t the only scholar on the Celtics.

Not everyone has the luxury of the security that comes with being a high lottery pick. For Demetrius Jackson, the possibility of being on the outside looking in - even with a guaranteed contract - was a real one. For many, the familiarity with being held in high regard at college and high school basketball does them no favors when the vicissitudes of the NBA present themselves. For Jackson, though, the plan was obvious:

Get to work.

Instead of getting frustrated with the change in circumstances that may come regardless of the opportunities which have come so far, Demetrius chose to dig in, and learn everything he could from his new teammates. Jackson holds his his fellow Celts in high esteem, and wants to be a sponge, as he notes in comments reported by Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe:

“I just want to learn … I feel like right now I just want to learn from the guys that came before me. I’ve watched Terry [Rozier] and Isaiah a ton. I really watch Marcus [Smart], too. Our veterans have done a great job of really helping educate me on the game … So I’m just listening to these guys, and when I do get a chance to go in, I just want to utilize those things and learn and develop and play as hard as I can.”

And it's getting results - though he’s getting limited minutes to show the improvement, he’s notably more capable on offense, and effective on defense that comes with the familiarity of having learned a new system.

Many players (memo: James Young and R.J. Hunter) have difficulty adjusting to strategic and rule changes that separate the college game from the pros, to say nothing of the increased length, speed, strength, and athleticism they will face.

Combined, it’s enough to turn promising prospects into also-rans.

So, how to react? For Jackson, that starts by controlling the things you have the ability to change, and that doesn’t just mean more time in the gym or eating better - it means learning, and quickly - too.

Will this be enough to make the regular season roster? For now, the grade is an incomplete - there’s still too many preseason games left, and too much time that trades might take place, or injuries to occur, or...well, you get the picture.

The one thing that we can say for sure is that this approach to the game will serve Jackson well no matter where he ends up - and so far, he looks pretty good in green.

Photo via www.csnne.com
Follow Justin at @justinquinnn

Justin Quinn 10/11/2016 10:13:00 AM Edit
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