Jaren Jackson Jr.’s sprained knee and subsequent absence from the court are no doubt going to be problematic for the Grizzlies. However, it is not an insurmountable obstacle. Pushing through and continuing to stack wins without one of its best players will be a unique learning experience for the young squad, if nothing else.
In the meantime, prepare for the inevitable wacky lineups that Coach Jenkins will employ to fill the nearly 7-foot void. Expect to see increased usage for both Brandon Clarke and Gorgui Dieng during Jackson Jr.’s absence. In addition to needing increased production from its bench unit, the Grizzlies will also need Jonas Valanciunas to be at the very top of his game.
A Brief Rant: YGTMYFT
Now, let’s talk about free throws. Did someone decide that the Grizzlies just aren’t making them anymore and I missed a memo?
In last Friday’s match up against the Los Angeles Lakers, the Grizzlies shot an abysmal 51.6% from the charity stripe. In a game that the Grizzlies lost by 12 points, leaving those extra 15 points worth of free throws on the floor really stings.
If I am Coach Jenkins, every member of the team would be shooting at least 100 free throws during the next practice.
This should be the easiest shot on the floor, one that any player can practice ad infinitum. The atmosphere in each arena may change, but fundamentally the process of shooting (and making) free throws does not. Scoring with the clock stopped is a valuable skill for players to utilize.
If ever there was a hill I was willing to die on, this is the one.
You’ve. Got. To. Make. Your. Free. Throws.
Who Got Next?
The Grizzlies will once again be playing in Staples Center tonight as they face off against Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers. Tip-off is at 9:30 pm CST, so be sure to grab one or more of your favorite caffeinated beverages beforehand.