Memphis Grizzlies' Jaren Jackson Jr. Is Making His Case For DPOY

The Memphis Grizzlies have one of the most exciting backcourts in the NBA. Ja Morant and Desmond Bane are a great duo that can lead the team in scoring. However, it is their defense that has been a focal point as of late. A huge part of that reason is the return of Jaren Jackson Jr., and he's making a case for DPOY.

Jaren Jackson Jr., (JJJ) missed the first 14 games of the season due to a recovery from a stress fracture of his foot. He would receive surgery in late June and be said to miss 4-6 months. Fittingly, his return in mid-November was much needed for the Grizzlies and JJJ had five blocks in his first game back.

Since then, the four-year player out of Michigan State has been a monster defensively, having over 4 blocks six times in only eleven games he's played in. JJJ is the league leader with 3.6 blocks per game. Additionally and more surprisingly, he's 10th in total blocks. For comparison, he has more blocks than 3X DPOY in Rudy Gobert.  
In his latest game against the Atlanta Hawks, he had himself a block party by posting eight blocks. He tied the franchise record for blocks in a game, joining the Gasol brothers, Marc and Pau, along with Stromile Swift. 
Memphis as a team is sixth in the league in defensive rating. That number will only go up with the stellar play of JJJ. After finishing fifth last season in DPOY voting, his continued effort could be a reason he'll be considered a DPOY candidate this year. The Grizzlies play the Bucks, the top-rated defense, on Thursday night. A good battle between the two best defensive teams in the league. 

Photo Credit Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports