The Memphis Grizzlies suffered a big blow on Tuesday, as the team announced that second-year forward Jaren Jackson Jr. will miss the remainder of the 2019-20 NBA season after suffering a torn meniscus in his left knee. The injury occurred against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday.
From the Grizzlies:
In Monday's game against the Pelicans, Jaren Jackson Jr. experienced an unstable landing after making contact with an opposing player while contesting a shot. Subsequent medical evaluation revealed a meniscus tear in his left knee, which will cause him to miss the remainder of the season. He is expected to make a full recovery.
This is not the first time that the left knee has been an issue for Jackson. Jackson sprained the knee in February, and he missed nine games leading up to the suspension of the season in mid-March because of the injury. Aside from the injury issues though, Jackson Jr. had a stellar sophomore season. He averaged 17.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game for the Grizzlies, and he scored 76 points over the three games that he played in Orlando.
The injury comes at a tough time for the Grizzlies, who are locked in a tight battle for postseason positioning in the Western Conference. The Grizzlies entered the seeding slate in Orlando with a slim lead for the eighth spot in the West, but they lost all three of their first seeding games, which made the race even tighter. If the ninth seed in the conference is within four games of the eighth seed when the seeding slate is complete, a play-in series will be triggered. In the series, the eighth-seeded team will only need to win once in order to claim the final playoff spot in the West, while the ninth-seeded team would need to win twice in a row before the eighth-seeded team wins once.
The Trail Blazers, Spurs, Pelicans, Kings, and Suns are all currently within four games of the Grizzlies. Whichever team ultimately claims the final spot in the West will face off against the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round, as the Lakers secured the top overall seed in the conference on Monday night.