Grizzlies’ Ja Morant set to miss the rest of the NBA Playoffs
Though he’s expected to make a full recovery, the star point guard’s absence will possibly be more than the Grizzlies can compensate for.
With an already uphill task to perform in a series that sees them trailing 3-1, the Grizzlies were dealt a severe blow with the news that their star player will miss the remainder of the season.
Grizzlies’ Ja Morant to miss remainder of playoffs
According to a team announcement on Tuesday, the Memphis Grizzlies star point guard Ja Morant has sustained a bone bruise in his right knee and is now largely expected to sit out the remainder of the NBA Playoffs. The Grizzlies disclosed that Morant had received an MRI that revealed the severity of the injury. This now means that the Grizzlies - for the second consecutive game - will have to face the Golden State Warriors without their talismanic point guard, when the attempt to stave off elimination in Game 5 on Wednesday night. It should be said that Morant is expected to make a full recovery from the injury.
How did Ja Morant get injured?
As has been reported, Morant apparently suffered the injury during the fourth quarter in Game 3 when Jordan Pool trapped Morant and went for the basketball, but appeared to grab Morant’s knee. Morant could be seen in clear discomfort after the play and was eventually taken out of the game. The Grizzlies star did not return. In the wake of the injury there was a back and forth between Morant and Warriors’ Klay Thompson who disagreed with the former’s accusation about Pool’s action being intentional. There are others who point to the moment actually being in the third quarter, when Morant collided with Thompson. See for yourself:
Ultimately the NBA chose not to sanction Pool, but the Grizzlies have maintained that the injury was the direct result of Pool’s actions. While the Grizzlies have performed impressively when they have had to do without Morant, going 20-5 in his absence earlier this season, the reality is without him it will be a tall order come Wednesday night.
How can the Grizzlies cope with out their ‘clutch player?’
To put things in perspective, Morant leads the NBA in clutch-time scoring with 42 points this postseason according to ESPN. Not surprising when considering the kind of numbers he’s put up in this series. Indeed, Morant has averaged 38.3 points, 8.3 assists and 6.7 rebounds against Golden State. “You know how Ja is in the fourth quarters,” Jaren Jackson Jr. said of the team’s loss of their go to guy. “He dominates pretty much every fourth quarter,” Jackson said. “I’ve got to look at it, see how the looks were for sure, but I think we were just missing. We just missed. ...We had a chance. We had the lead. Then we just kind of lost it; you know what I mean? You saw how it went. We just make a couple more shots, it’s a different story, especially late. ...We’ve got to finish for sure. But we’re going to take some of that into Game 5.”