The Memphis Grizzlies are in 13th place in the Western Conference and have a lot of ground to cover, but anything remains possible with Ja Morant finally back in their line-up.

The two-time NBA All-Star made his highly-anticipated season debut earlier this week after serving a 25-game suspension due to conduct detrimental to the league and did not miss a beat. He has averaged 27 points, 5.5 rebounds, eight assists, and a steal over his first two games this year which were both Memphis wins. 

Morant capped off his dazzling 34-point performance in his first game back with the game-winning basket to beat the New Orleans Pelicans. In his second game, he led Memphis past the Indiana Pacers in a 13-point win. 

This match also came with extra motivation for Morant as he was matched-up with Indiana’s Tyrese Haliburton whose play this season has elevated him into the discussion on who is the best point guard in the NBA today. If Morant can keep up this level of play for the rest of the season, he should easily reclaim his rightful place in this discussion.


Unlike previous seasons, Memphis was not able to weather Morant’s absence. The Grizzlies suffered through a five-game losing streak leading up to Morant’s first game and their win-loss record still stands at a measly 8-19 despite the back-to-back wins. Jaren Jackson Jr. and Desmond Bane struggled to adjust to life without Morant as reflected in the dip in their efficiency, but things should open up for them now that their star guard has returned. 

Memphis now looks reenergized with Morant back on the floor, yet it will nonetheless be an uphill climb for them to salvage this campaign. They trail the 10th seed Los Angeles Lakers by six games for the last play-in berth with 55 regular season games still left on their calendar which should be more than enough time for them to turn things around. 

The Grizzlies have to continue chipping away and not let up though, especially when considering the injury history of their stars Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. One untimely injury–or social media incident–could lead to another losing streak so this team must capitalize on their relatively clean bill of health at the moment.  

This team has too much talent on its roster not to make a run and their chase of a playoff spot over the coming months will be a fun storyline to monitor. Regardless of his off-court extracurricular activities, Morant remains one of the most electrifying players in the NBA and the league is certainly better when he is playing. 

All is not lost for Memphis’ season, but they must not let anything get in the way of their redemption tour.