Memphis Grizzlies

Grizzlies lose Jaren Jackson Jr. for the season with torn meniscus

The Grizzlies playoff chances take a major hit with the loss of Jaren Jackson Jr.

Following a crucial loss to the New Orleans Pelicans last night in the race for the eighth seed in the West, the Memphis Grizzlies just announced an even bigger loss.

Jaren Jackson Jr. suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee against the Pels, forcing him out for the rest of the season and damaging Memphis’ hopes of pulling a playoff upset.

It is a massive loss for a Grizzlies team already down Justise Winslow and now its second-leading scorer as well. Jackson Jr. had an impressive sophomore year in Memphis, jumping up to 17.4 points per game, along with a significant improvement in three-point percentage from 35.9 to 39.4%. His growth has been influential to the team’s shocking success this season.

Memphis will now look to make the playoffs without one of its best players, and they are not in the best form either. On a four-game losing streak, Memphis has struggled to gain any momentum since entering the bubble, with a healthy Blazers team and surging Suns squad right on their heels. The loss to New Orleans only made matters worse.

All the pressure is on Ja Morant without Jaren Jackson Jr. by his side

Now, the real test comes for head coach Taylor Jenkins and Rookie of the Year favorite Ja Morant, not to win a playoff series, but to simply make it. The road ahead isn’t exactly a favorable one either, as Memphis squares off against Utah, OKC, Toronto, Boston and finishes against the Bucks.

They aren’t going to be the favorites in any one of those matches either. Pair that aside the Pelicans with one of the easiest remaining schedules and a Blazers team that looks bound to force a play-in game at the very least and things are not looking all that bright for the Grizzlies.

Jenkins is in the coach of the year conversation for a reason, though, and now has a chance to prove it. If Memphis manages to make the playoffs, then he deserves a lot of credit for it.

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