One of the surprise teams this NBA season, the Memphis Grizzlies find themselves in position to make the playoffs for the first time in three years. However, the injury bug has hit at the exact wrong time for Memphis with the playoff push heating up after the All-Star break.
After it was announced earlier this week that Jaren Jackson Jr. would be sidelined with a sprained knee, now it’s rookie Brandon Clarke who is also set to miss multiple weeks. According to a release from the team, Clarke suffered a quadriceps injury in their loss to the LA Clippers Monday night and will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
— Grizzlies PR (@GrizzliesPR) February 26, 2020
Though Brandon Clarke will be re-evaluated in two weeks, it’s far from a certainty that he’ll be ready to go by then. Quad injuries can be hard to gauge so there’s a real possibility that Memphis will have to survive up to a month without one of their talented rookies in the lineup.
This is a huge blow for the Memphis Grizzlies, especially at this juncture where they hold a slim three-game edge over the 9th place Portland Trail Blazers for that final playoff seed. With Jaren Jackson Jr. already out of the mix with his injury, Clarke was expected to receive even more minutes than usual but Memphis will now have to find other options to fill their void at power forward.
Clarke has been enjoying a solid rookie season, averaging 12 points and 5.8 rebounds off the bench in 50 games for the Grizz this year. With Jackson Jr. and Clarke both out, the Grizzlies become razor-thin at the forward position and will need to find a way to stay afloat in the Western Conference playoff picture. Expect reserves Gorgui Dieng and Josh Jackson to see their roles increase over the coming weeks.