Grizzlies just announced that Jaren Jackson Jr. suffered a sprained left knee against the Lakers on Friday. He’ll be re-evaluated in two weeks. That’s a really tough blow— Omari Sankofa II (@omarisankofa) February 23, 2020
The loss of Jackson for two weeks is a huge blow for the Grizzlies, who are now 28-28 holding down the No. 8 seed in the West. Right now, Memphis has a 3.5 game lead on both the Blazers and Spurs for that spot. The Pelicans, who have been playing really good basketball, sit at 24-32, just 4.0 games out of the No. 8 seed.
With Jackson sidelined, the Grizzlies’ front court loses its best player all season. Jackson was averaging 16.9 points and 4.7 rebounds per game this season. His defense down low will be missed; Jackson posted 1.6 blocks per game.
Fantasy basketball analysis: Grizzlies C Jaren Jackson Jr.
So with JJJ down for the next two weeks at the least, we can expect Jonas Valanciunas to pick up more minutes at center and in general. He was already averaging 252.9 minutes per game, posting 14.6 points and 10.6 rebounds per contest to lead the Grizz. As far as who will slide into the starting lineup, my guess would be either Brandon Clarke or Gorgui Dieng. The latter was acquired from the T-Wolves and has experience stepping into a starting role after backing up Karl-Anthony Towns in Minnesota. Dieng isn’t a bad replacement option if you own JJJ.