The NBA has shot down a theory alleging that Memphis Grizzlies big man Jaren Jackson Jr. had his defensive statistics inflated by the scorekeeper during home games.
A reddit user posted a thread suggesting that Jackson was being credited for blocks and steals in Grizzlies’ home games that he never actually recorded. Shortly after the thread gained widepsread traction on social media on Saturday, Tim Frank, Sr. Vice President of League Operations Communications for the NBA, rejected the idea that a Memphis employee could get away with creating fake stats.
“In order to ensure the integrity of our game statistics, auditors, independent of the statisticians on-site, review all plays and stats decisions in real-time during NBA games,” Frank said in a statement. “If changes are necessary, they are made at the time or following a postgame review. All of the plays questioned in the past on Memphis games were scored consistently within the rules set forth by the NBA statisticians manual.”
Jackson is the leading candidate to be the 2023 NBA Defensive Player of the Year. The Grizzlies’ center is averaging 3.1 blocks and 1.0 steals in 33 games.
Jackson’s splits between his performance on the home and the road are somewhat jarring. The 23-year-old has 66 blocks and 22 steals in 16 home games compared to just 37 rejections and 12 steals in 17 appearances outside of Memphis.
Those stats, however, make sense when taking a look at the Grizzlies’ record. Memphis is a league-best 20-3 at home. On the road, the Grizzlies have an 11-15 record.
With a block percentage of 10.6%, Jaren Jackson Jr. is approaching historic territory. Only Manute Bol has blocked more than 10% of two-point field-goals attempted while he was on the floor over the course of an entire season.