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Grizzlies’ Jaren Jackson Jr. is fourth in blocks in just 22 games

Grizzlies’ Jaren Jackson Jr. is fourth in blocks in just 22 games

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Memphis Grizzlies center Jaren Jackson Jr. led the NBA in blocks last season, averaging 2.3 per game. Now in his fifth year, the player ranks fourth in total blocks and records a career-high 3.1 blocks per competition.

What makes Jackson’s block stats impressive is the fact that he’s played 10 fewer games than any other player currently in the top 10. With only 22 starts, the center has recorded a total of 69 blocks.

According to some NBA betting sites, Jaren Jackson Jr. is the top pick for Defensive Player of the Year. The Grizzlies center is favored to win Brook Lopez, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bam Adebayo.

Jaren Jackson Jr. is now fourth in total blocks this season.

JJJ has played 10 fewer games than anyone else in the top 10. pic.twitter.com/UWT99X2Uxp

— StatMuse (@statmuse) January 6, 2023

Lopez has started in 37 games this season, Nic Claxton has started in 35 games and Myles Turner has played in 33 competitions overall. If he can stay healthy, Jackson will lose the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award.

In 22 starts with the Grizzlies, the 23-year-old averages 16.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game. He also shoots a career-best 51.6% off the ground and 35.9% off the bow.

Grizzlies center Jaren Jackson Jr. is fourth in blocks in just 22 appearances, behind Brook Lopez (98), Nic Claxton (88) and Myles Turner (73).

On Thursday, in Memphis’ 123-115 win over the Orlando Magic, Jackson had a season-high 31 points in 32 minutes of play. In addition to grabbing 10 boards, the center shot 12 of 14 (85.7%) from the field and made two 3-pointers. Ja Morant and Jackson scored 63 points together.

During the second quarter, the Grizzlies scored 43 points and ended up with a 65-43 lead at halftime. Jackson contributed 13 points and five rebounds before halftime. Orlando outplayed them 72-58 in the last two quarters. However, the block champion of 2021-22 still dominated the suit.

Jaren Jackson Jr. is now the favorite to win DPOY. He averages 3.2 blocks and 1.1 steals. Memphis has also led the NBA in defensive scoring since its season debut. However, he only averages 25.8mpg and only two players have ever won it, averaging under 30 #BigMemphis

— Jonathan Von Tobel (@meJVT) January 2, 2023

“He set the tone for us in the first quarter, blocked [three] Shots,” said Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins. “Overall tonight you felt his power, his physicality on both sides. It’s definitely one of his most impressive [games]if not the most so far for JJ”

Dillon Brooks ended his outing with 11 points, six boards and six assists. “He’s a unique talent,” Brooks said of Jackson. “He’s one of our guys who’s a mismatch nightmare so we need him to be aggressive on both ends every night.”

Additionally, Jaren Jackson Jr. led the NBA in blocks totaling 177 last season. Memphis has played 38 games so far, and the center already has a whopping 69 blocks. It would be a big challenge to accumulate at least 180 blocks in fewer games in a single season. Barring a serious injury, however, he could beat his own block record.

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