NBA

Josh Jackson.

Phoenix Suns rookie Josh Jackson provides brilliant reaction to guarding Blake Griffin

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The transition from college to the NBA can be a very difficult one as the jump in quality is apparent almost instantly.

Stepping up from competing against players in similar age groups to going up against the best in the world is a huge leap and some find it harder than others.

Lonzo Ball is one player who is visibly struggling to adapt to life in the league with the Los Angeles Lakers.

But another player who has been overwhelmed by the level in the NBA is Phoenix Suns rookie Josh Jackson.

Before becoming a pro, the 20-year-old was always used to being one of the biggest, strongest and most talented athletes on the court.

He doesn't always feel that way now that he's matched up with bigger and more powerful players.

In a recent interview with Bleacher Report, the young forward brilliantly described his first encounter with Los Angeles Clippers big man Blake Griffin.

Los Angeles Clippers v Los Angeles Lakers

"The physicality of the NBA game is crazy," he told Bleacher Report. "Like our [third] game of the season, I'm f-----g guarding Blake Griffin. And I'm barely 200 pounds."

It's a huge adjustment for young players to make and it shows them what it takes to compete at the highest level.

Jackson was drafted with the fourth overall pick by the Suns and they have huge hopes for him in the future and see him as a key piece in their rebuilding project.

But as well as adapting on the court, the Kansas product has had to make changes off the court in terms of his diet and how he can keep himself in shape.

Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns

The days of eating fast food are in the past and have to be replaced with healthier choices.

“I had my mom in town for like two weeks, and she was just cooking everything,” Jackson says. “I was like, ‘Ma, I can’t eat this!’ That was one of the hardest parts.”

The small forward produced his best game in the Suns' 128-112 loss to the Orlando Magic last night as he posted a career-high 18 points on 9-of-18 shooting from the field.

He also added six rebounds, two steals and a block during 22 minutes of action off the bench.

Brisbane Bullets v Phoenix Suns

Jackson is certainly one of most talented players to come out this year's draft class and will develop into a solid NBA player in the years to come.

The experience of this season will certainly stand him in good stead in the future as he'll know exactly what he has to do to go up against the best players on a nightly basis and improve his own game.

Topics:
NBA
Phoenix Suns
Pacific Division
Western Conference
Blake Griffin
L.A. Clippers

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