Already missing Jaren Jackson Jr. due to a knee injury, the Grizzlies will now be without another key forward as they attempt to hold onto their playoff spot. The team announced on Tuesday night that Brandon Clarke has been diagnosed with a right quad injury and will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
Clarke suffered the injury on Monday night against the Clippers, leaving the game early in the first quarter with what was initially referred to as hip soreness.
The 21st overall pick in the 2019 draft, Clarke has been one of the NBA’s most impressive rookies this season, averaging 12.0 PPG and 5.8 RPG with a .623/.404/.785 shooting line in 50 games (21.7 MPG) for the upstart Grizzlies.
Clarke and Jackson are both among the top five Memphis players in minutes per game this season, so the team will have to rely on its depth to fill those holes in the next couple weeks. Having also traded away forwards Jae Crowder, Solomon Hill, and Bruno Caboclo prior to this month’s deadline, the Grizzlies figure to lean more heavily on players like Kyle Anderson, Gorgui Dieng, Josh Jackson, and Jordan Bell. Grayson Allen and Justise Winslow also remain on the shelf with injuries of their own.
The 2019/20 season has already been a success for the 28-29 Grizzlies, whose win total has surpassed their preseason over/under projection. Still, down two important rotation players and facing the NBA’s toughest remaining schedule, the club will be hard-pressed to hang onto its three-game lead for the No. 8 seed in the West.