Grizzlies star point guard Ja Morant is dealing with another potentially serious injury.
While Memphis finds itself in a 2-1 hole with Game 4 on the road, a suddenly more pressing issue is the absence of its All-Star point guard who left the game in the fourth quarter and proceeded back to the locker room prior to the final horn. Morant was confirmed to be out just hours before the Grizzlies’ Game 4 against the Warriors Monday night.
Ja Morant is out tonight, Taylor Jenkins says.
— Damichael Cole (@DamichaelC) May 10, 2022
Here’s the latest on Morant’s injury.
What is Ja Morant’s injury?
The injury occurred late in the fourth quarter of Memphis’ Game 3 loss to the Warriors in San Francisco in their second-round playoff series.
The injury appeared to occur during a trap at halfcourt by the Warriors. Morant attempted initially to play through the pain, but limped off onto the bench with around 6:19 left in the final term. He appeared visibly agitated before the Grizzlies’ medical team led him back to the locker room for further examination.
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) May 8, 2022
Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins said Warriors guard Jordan Poole grabbed Ja Morant’s knee and yanked it. This is the play that it occurred on.
When asked about the incident, Poole said he hadn’t seen a replay yet and was shown a clip on a reporter’s phone.
“It was a basketball play,” he said. “I was going for the ball, obviously I don’t wanna see anybody get hurt. I’m not even that type of player. I respect everybody. Hopefully he gets better. I don’t even play like that.”
Jordan Poole watched the play where he grabbed Ja Morant’s knee at the podium. Here is his response. pic.twitter.com/VhFTmkHlCi
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) May 8, 2022
Morant also tweeted — and later deleted — his thoughts on the incident as well, throwing Warriors coach Steve Kerr’s words back at him, sharing the highlight of the play and insinuating that Poole “broke the code.”
How long will Ja Morant be out?
Morant is out for the Grizzlies’ Game 4 game against the Warriors Monday, and will likely be day-to-day moving forward.
We will continue to monitor for any updates.
Grizzlies record without Ja Morant this season
Morant missed 25 games during the regular season, with the Grizzlies posting a 20-5 record in those games.
While that did include a win over the Warriors in March, it’s worth noting that Golden State did not have Stephen Curry, Draymond Green or Klay Thompson in that game.
The Grizzlies will likely need to lean on their defense without Morant. During two different extended stretches without their All-Star point guard, the Grizzlies posted the NBA’s No. 1 ranked defense led by Jaren Jackson Jr. whose performance without Morant fueled some Defensive Player of the Year buzz.
Warriors vs. Grizzlies series schedule
Here is the full schedule for the second-round series between the Warriors and Grizzlies:
|Date||Game||Time (ET)||TV channel (U.S.)|
|May 1||Game 1: Warriors 117, Grizzlies 116|
|May 3||Game 2: Grizzlies 106, Warriors 101|
|May 7||Game 3: Warriors 142, Grizzlies 112|
|May 9||Game 4||10 p.m.||TNT|
|May 11||Game 5*||TBD||TNT|
|May 13||Game 6*||TBD||ESPN|
|May 16||Game 7*||TBD||TNT|