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Memphis Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas has been deemed out for Monday's contest versus the Suns due to the league's health and safety protocols. Valanciunas' absence may force further changes to the league's schedule, but Sunday's game between Philadelphia -- who played Memphis on Saturday -- and Oklahoma City has been called off. Phoenix has not taken the floor since last Monday due to COVID-19 issues of their own, but the game against the Grizzlies is still on as of Sunday night. Without Valanciunas in the mix, Brandon Clarke and Xavier Tillman should see increased run in the frontcourt. Check back for updates on Valanciunas' status as they become available.
Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant's (ankle) return to action could come as soon as Friday versus Minnesota, as the team has listed him as questionable on its latest injury report. Morant was originally expected to miss 4-6 weeks after sustaining a serious ankle sprain back on Dec. 28, but he appears to have healed well to this point. Tyus Jones has taken over starting PG duties in Morant's absence, but he'll fall out of season-long relevance upon Morant's return. With the Grizzlies likely to ease their star back into the mix, Morant may be an avoidable DFS option in his first game back, but season-long managers will want to check back prior to tip-off Friday for the final update on his status.
Memphis Grizzlies forward Brandon Clarke scored 19 points with nine rebounds, three assists, and three steals in a 118-107 win over the Timberwolves. Clarke has played more minutes this month and has made the most of them. He's been particularly effective in his last three games, with averages of 18.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game on 50 percent shooting from the field. He's worth a pickup for those who need help at one of the big man slots, though he's a better play in points leagues, as he's mostly a factor as a scorer and rebounder. He'll look to repeat his successful performance against Minnesota in Friday's rematch.
Memphis Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas played his best game of the season in a win over Minnesota. Valanciunas recorded his ninth double-double of the season, producing season-highs of 24 points and 16 rebounds. The 28-year-old checks in at fourth in the NBA in double-doubles, as he's been a strong paint presence for the Grizzlies. He'll look to stay hot in his two upcoming games, though they'll both be stiff tests. First, a rematch with Karl-Anthony Towns and the Timberwolves on Friday, followed by a Saturday matchup with Joel Embiid and the 76ers.
Memphis Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas had a double-double and filled the stat sheet against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night. He scored 17 points on 6-for-11 shooting from the field and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line while adding 10 rebounds, three assists, two blocks, a steal and a three-pointer. Valanciunas has posted a double-double in each of his eight games this year. He's been the most productive Grizzly this year with Jaren Jackson Jr. (knee) and Ja Morant (ankle) sidelined, but he should also remain steady and reliable when Jackson and Morant return. Valanciunas will look to stay hot on the second night of a back-to-back against the Brooklyn Nets on Friday.