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Despite online conspiracy theory, Jaren Jackson Jr. is the NBA’s best defender | Locked On Grizzlies

An internet sleuth tried to discredit Jaren Jackson Jr. and the Memphis Grizzlies defense, alleging that stat counters are falsely padding stat numbers.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Over the weekend, a Reddit user posted on the website’s NBA forum, r/NBA, a detailed breakdown of what the user claimed were falsely attributed blocks and steals counted for Memphis Grizzlies big man Jaren Jackson Jr. that in fact should have counted for another player. 

The post went so far as to allege that the Grizzlies’ home scorekeeper was in on the fix.

The thread, by user u/ADMassive6666, was titled "Memphis Grizzlies scorekeeper posting fraudulent numbers." It has elicited about 66,000 reactions and over 4,000 comments as of writing.

In the Monday edition of the Locked On Grizzlies podcast, host Joe Mullinax pointed out the holes in the theory and why any conspiratorial thinking around Jackson’s dominant defense is silly.

“These games are more scrutinized than they’ve ever been before, in terms of social media, in terms of data being studied, in terms of people watching every angle, every aspect of what these athletes are doing on the floor,” Mullinax said.

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NBA analysts flocked to the game film to deconstruct the Reddit poster’s theory and quickly shot it down. 

While reasonable points arose online in the debate about the apparent discrepancies in Jackson’s statistical output, including the NBA needing to be more wary of such discrepancies in the age of legal sports betting, Mullinax pointed out that the league office checks these stats and has staff dedicated to game integrity.

“The NBA is openly trying to help the Memphis Grizzlies. Do you understand how stupid that sounds to say out loud?” Mullinax said. “I just said it and I feel like a moron.” 

Jackson responded to the controversy by posting five blocks in a home win over Indiana on Sunday night. It appears all five were legal and legitimate.

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