Ja Morant’s injury ends what little hope the Grizzlies had of salvaging their season
Ja Morant’s return to the fray certainly brought back a glimmer of hope for Grizzlies fans, especially as he lad them to a 6-3 record while also putting up stats worthy of his talent with 25.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 8.1 assists.
As recently as a few days ago, he was giving his fans highlights, especially with that memorable dunk on Victor Wembanyama.
Sadly, all that hope is now gone as it’s been revealed that he will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum. That news, of course, did not go down well with the people in Memphis.
The Grizzlies, who are near the bottom of the Western Conference with a record of 13-23, have again lost their superstar and are still missing other key players. Steven Adams is also out for the rest of the campaign, while Brandon Clarke is a long ways off an is expected to make his debut around the All-Star Break, which is in mid-February.
That leaves just Jaren Jackson Jr. and Desmond Bane to carry the team and Jackson has had a rough season as the former Defensive Player of the Year is being exposed as a bit of a block hunter (1.8 BPG this season) who is unable to rebound against proper big men with an average of 5.8 rebounds per game in the absence of Adams.
With Morant out, the Grizzlies are likely to take a serious look at tanking for the rest of the season. The Western Conference is already brutal, with the Lakers, Suns and Warriors all making a desperate attempt to stay in the play-in spots as well. Leapfrogging those teams, along with the Pelicans, Rockets and even the Jazz, is a monumental task that Memphis’ depleted roster probably isn’t up for. Without their star point guard in Morant and best inside presence in Adams, this squad is going to struggle mightily.
Right now, tanking for a lottery pick will do them even better as they could then leverage that asset for a trade in the offseason.
Tyrese Haliburton’s also been bitten with the injury bug
Tyrese Haliburton is another star point guard that’s been hit with an injury as he went down against the Celtics. He had an unfortunate slip and is due to take an MRI.
The hope is that the injury isn’t too severe, especially since the Pacers are part of a five-team block that all have the same record and are fighting for at least the fourth seed in the Easter Conference.