The Memphis Grizzlies are right in the heart of the race for one of the NBA Western Conference’s top playoff spots.
But in order to obtain one of those top spots, they may need to do so without superstar point guard Ja Morant.
Morant announced himself to the world as one of the league’s biggest stars in the 2021-22 season. He made his first NBA All-Star appearance and finished seventh in the NBA MVP voting.
Morant is a bona fide stud.
But this season, the talk has been as much about Morant’s exploits off the court than it has been about what he’s done on it. He’s continued his high level of play. But the distractions have ramped up.
In the latest incident, Morant was suspended by the Grizzlies for waving a gun in a nightclub.
Grizzlies Coach Taylor Jenkins Says There’s No Timetable For Ja Morant Return
Initially, the team stated that the suspension was for two games. But now head coach Taylor Jenkins states that Morant could be set to miss far more time than anyone first imagined.
“We have said that it’s going to be at least these two games,” Jenkins said. “I mean, this is going be an ongoing healing process. … It’s really not a timetable situation.”
Jenkins said the team’s focus was on supporting Morant through what’s “going to be a difficult process” but also on holding him accountable for his actions.
“We’re taking this very seriously,” Jenkins said. “There’s a supportive element for someone that’s got to get better and needs some help. But then there’s also accountability to the team that we’ve got to stand for.
“Obviously nationwide, leaguewide, there’s been a lot of attention on gun violence, and so for us, that’s the stance that we’ve taken about how we can support Ja throughout this growth opportunity. It’s a learning opportunity, and hopefully we can be better from it.” – via ESPN
Morant’s absence is a huge blow to the Grizzlies. That much was evident on Sunday night as Memphis blew a double-digit lead in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
In a tight race for seeding in the Western Conference, Morant’s return is up the utmost importance.