On the heels of exciting news in regards to Ja Morant’s Rookie of the Month announcement, the Grizzlies unfortunately have followed it up with a disappointing development regarding Brandon Clarke. Clarke aggravated his oblique in Sunday’s game against the Timberwolves, which limited him to ten minutes of action. He did not play in last night’s game against the Pacers.
For the season, Clarke has averaged 11.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.3 assists while shooting 63% from field, including 45.5% on three pointers.
Now both prized rookies are on the mend with “week-to-week” designations. The near future is a bit uncertain for the Grizzlies in terms of their returns. Hopefully, these moves are just precautions so that something minor or easily treatable does not turn into something serious. Obviously, the Grizzlies should take every measure to protect the health of Morant and Clarke, and likely will be overly cautious to prevent the risk of further injury.
While this news is certainly a negative turn of events, it does provide an opportunity for head coach Taylor Jenkins and his staff to see what the roster can do in expanded roles. If the early returns on players such as De’Anthony Melton and Bruno Caboclo are any indication, the injuries to Morant and Clarke could actually be beneficial to the franchise is seeing what the rest of the roster can do.
Clarke’s production will certainly be missed, but as has been the message before the season started, the future is the priority above the present. As a result, while the hope is that Morant and Clarke will both return seen, the Grizzlies will take every certainty to ensure they return good as new and productive as ever.