The Memphis Grizzlies have played much longer than expected without their co-star in Jaren Jackson Jr.
After the star forward went down with a knee injury during last year’s bubble season, the Grizzlies were thought to have been left for dead. But that hasn’t been the case. Memphis has over-performed, leading to a team that is in contention for the NBA Playoffs.
That said, they’ve been playing without their key contributor and best defender in JJJ. On Tuesday, his status was officially lifted from “Doubtful” to “QUESTIONABLE,” giving fans hope that he could play in Wednesday night’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Here’s the full report by Grizzlies PR on Twitter:
Memphis Grizzlies F Jaren Jackson Jr.’s return could come at the perfect time
The Grizzlies have been playing very well without Jaren Jackson Jr., but there have been very distinct holes in this team’s defense. The defense in the paint has been bad, leading to open threes for opposing teams.
For a franchise that prides itself on defense, this has been a bad look for Taylor Jenkins’ squad.
Jackson Jr. won’t patch all of these holes immediately, but he’ll be of huge assistance to a team that has been playing its best offense of the year. If they can get it together on both ends of the court, it could be a fun finish to the season.
Speaking of finishing the season, the Grizzlies are within reach of an NBA Playoff spot. Not a play-in spot, but an actual locked-in spot in the competition. They’ve been extremely competitive with any level of team, so they’ll look to make that late-season push into the 6 seed of the Western Conference Playoffs.
JJJ’s return will also give some clarity as to whether or not this is a team that can compete at the next level. Thus far, they’ve been punching up but losing close ones to superior teams.
It’s time to find out if this team is the real deal.
If Jaren Jackson Jr. doesn’t play against the Clippers, he could be back in the Grizzlies’ next game against the Portland Trail Blazers. Every game will count on a competitive road trip.