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Can Memphis Survive Without Ja Morant?

The Memphis Grizzlies find themselves in a nightmare scenario going into Game Four of the second round. During Game Three, where the Golden State Warriors handed Memphis a thirty-point loss, Grizzlies star Ja Morant left the game due to a knee injury.

Warriors guard Joran Poole yanked on Morant’s right knee while attempting to swipe the ball, ultimately causing Ja to exit the contest with just over six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. According to Head Coach Taylor Jenkins, Morant will likely miss Game Four in San Fransisco.

Through three games against Golden State, Morant is averaging 38.3 points per game on 50.6% shooting while also adding 6.7 rebounds and 8.3 assists a night. 

It raises the question: Will the Grizzlies be able to survive without Ja Morant?

Memphis has dealt with a similar situation in the regular season, losing Morant for a total of 25 games. However, the Grizzlies went an astounding 20-5 without their superstar, including a win over their current opponent Golden State. 

Team Stats Without Ja Morant:

  • 104.0 Defensive Rating (League High)
  • 117.6 Offensive Rating (League High)
  • 46.6 FG% (Season average 46.1 FG%)
  • 38.0 3P% (League High)

Shooting Guard Desmond Bane will most likely take the reigns as the first scoring option while Morant recovers. Bane averaged 19.0 points without Morant in the regular season and led the team in scoring in the first round of the playoffs. Bane averaged 23.5 points per game while shooting over 49% on three-pointers against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round.

Dillon Brooks will also be returning from his suspension resulting from a hard foul in Game Two. Brooks has been the Grizzlies’ defensive anchor alongside Jaren Jackson Jr. and was tasked with defending the two-time MVP Stephen Curry. Curry has missed all seven of his field-goal attempts when guarded by Brooks, including five missed three-pointers. The Grizzlies sorely missed his defensive prowess in Game Three.

Memphis will need these role players to step up in Game Four in Morant’s absence, or they’ll face a 3-1 deficit before Ja’s possible return.

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