It is possible that Ja Morant could be suiting up again shortly for the Memphis Grizzlies. Currently, the sophomore point guard is listed as questionable for Friday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. He missed the last eight games of his team because of a sprained left ankle.
Fresh off an alarming run into the Western Conference play-in game last season, the Grizzlies are off to a slow 5-6 start, mostly due to injuries. Early in the season, Morant was left with a huge burden since neither Justine Winslow nor Jaren Jackson Jr. has suited up this season due to injuries. Before his injury knocked him out, Morant averaged 36 points per game on the first two matches played by the Grizzlies.
During the second quarter of the game between the Grizzlies and the Nets on December 28, Morant tried to block a Timothe Luwawu-Cabarot jump shot but he landed on the opponent’s foot and had to be taken to the locker room in a wheelchair.
Now he will return, and while 5-6 is not ideal, it is not exactly a horrid blow to Memphis’ playoff hopes considering the tightly packed Western Conference standings. There is plenty of room for improvement of Memphis gets healthy.
It appears the Grizzlies do not have another player on their roster capable of creating for himself and others like Morant, so multiple others will have to step up. Kyle Anderson, Dillon Brooks, Brandon Clarke, and Jonas Valanciunas will ask to see their usage percentage rise over the coming few weeks. Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins will have to get creative with his rotation in order to prevent a major drop in the standings.