Jaren Jackson Jr.’s epic block of Joel Embiid has NBA Twitter ready to hand out trophies
It’s been a solid season for Jaren Jackson Jr. The Memphis Grizzlies forward was just selected to his first All-Star Game and he has emerged as one of the frontrunners for the Defensive Player of the Year Award. Jackson recently revealed that he didn’t quite set out to win the award, but that as his defense became more and more important to the Grizzlies, it became a goal of his. In the Grizzlies first game back against the Philadelphia 76ers, he further strengthened his case with a monster block on Joel Embiid. The block had NBA Twitter ready to hand him the Defensive Player of the Year Award right then and there.
Jaren Jackson Jr. has been the anchor to the Grizzlies defense all season. The Grizzlies are currently eight in opponents points per game at 112.2 and second in the league in defensive rating at 110.1. This season, Jackson has been averaging a career-high 3.3 blocked shots per game. Last season he averaged 2.3 blocked shots per game. This is the second straight season that Jackson has led the NBA in blocked shots. Joel Embiid has been a candidate for the DPOY Award himself but after this game NBA Twitter clearly has their minds made up as to who should win the award.
In addition to his defense, Jackson has also been averaging 16.9 points per game, 6.7 rebounds and 1.1 steals with shooting splits of 50.2 percent from the field, 35.6 percent from the three-point line and 77.5 percent from the free-throw line. The Grizzlies are currently 35-22 and in second place in the Western Conference standings.