Memphis Grizzlies center Jaren Jackson Jr. led the NBA in blocks last season, averaging 2.3 per game. Now, the fifth-year player ranks fourth in total blocks and is averaging a career-high 3.1 blocks per contest.
What makes Jackson Blocks statistics amazing is the fact that he played 10 less games than all other players currently in the top 10. Through only 22 starts, the center recorded 69 total blocks.
According to a pair of NBA betting sites, Jaren Jackson Jr. is the favorite to win Defensive Player of the Year. Grizzlies center Brook Lopez, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bam Adebayo are favorites to win.
Jaren Jackson Jr. is 4th in total blocks this season.
JJJ has played fewer games in the top 10. pic.twitter.com/UWT99X2Uxp
— StatMuse (@statmuse) January 6, 2023
Lopez has started 37 games this season, Nick Claxton has started 35 games and Myles Turner has started 33 games overall. If he can stay healthy, Jackson is the loser of the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award.
In 22 starts with the Grizzlies, the 23-year-old averaged 16.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game. Additionally, he shot a career-best 51.6% from the floor and 35.9% from beyond the arc.
Grizzlies center Jaren Jackson Jr. trails Brook Lopez (98), Nick Claxton (88) and Myles Turner (73) by just 22 games.
On Thursday, in Memphis’ 123-115 win over the Orlando Magic, Jackson scored a game-high 31 points in 32 minutes. 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 combined for 63 points.
The Grizzlies scored 43 points in the second quarter, leading 65-43 at the half. Jackson contributed 13 points and five rebounds before halftime. Orlando outscored the final two quarters 72-58. However, the 2021-22 Blocks Championship still dominates the scene.
Jaren Jackson Jr. is now the favorite to win DPOY. He is averaging 3.2 blocks and 1.1 steals. Memphis leads the NBA in scoring defense since its first season. However, the average is only 25.8 MPG and only two players averaged less than 30 wins. #BigMemphis
— Jonathan Von Tobel (@meJVT) January 2, 2023
“He set the tone for us in the first quarter, he was blocked [three] shots,” Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said. “Overall, you felt the energy, the physicality on both sides tonight. It is definitely one of the most impressive. [games]So far for JJ, if not more.
Dillon Brooks finished with 11 points, six boards and six assists. “He’s a one-of-a-kind talent,” Brooks said of Jackson. “He’s one of our guys who is a mismatch nightmare, so we want him to be aggressive on both ends every night.”
Furthermore, Jaren Jackson Jr. led the NBA in blocks last season with a total of 177. Memphis has played 38 games so far, and the center has an impressive 69 blocks. Amassing at least 180 blocks in a season in less games is a tall order. He could beat his own blocks record, despite a serious injury.