The Memphis Grizzlies have been one of the most consistent teams during the current NBA season, thanks in large part to their star point guard Ja Morant.
Memphis began the calendar year by moving into second place in the competitive Western Conference, and have never looked back. They have retained their spot for over two months, and were even tied for first with the Denver Nuggets on more than a handful of occasions.
Ja Morant Could Miss Weeks — Can The Grizzlies Survive In The West?
Morant had been having a better season in 2022-23 than he had during his true breakout season last year. He was averaging over 27 points per game, over eight assists and six rebounds, and was named to his second-straight All-Star game. His popularity skyrocketed, and he now has a signature shoe and a mega-deal with Powerade and other companies.
But things have taken a turn for the worst for Ja Morant, and in turn, probably the Grizzlies. There were stories this season about people from Morant’s crew potentially pointing a gun at the Indiana Pacers’ team bus, and last week a report that Morant himself punched a minor 13 times on his property. But things came completely unraveled when he chose to film himself with a gun at a nightclub.
The NBA is investigating the incident, and it was first reported that Morant would miss at least two games while the league did their due diligence. But there is apparently more digging that needs to be done, and the news now is that he could miss even more time, potentially even weeks.
Ja Morant could be away from the Memphis Grizzlies for weeks
“It’s going to be about the NBA’s investigation, the Colorado police investigation, and how Ja Morant is going to be seeking help over the next period of days and weeks.”
(Via @ShamsCharania & @TheRally ) pic.twitter.com/00v9eMiaUB
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) March 7, 2023
It could spell disaster for the Grizzlies. Their hold on the second spot in the West is anything but solidified, in fact it is in danger. The Sacramento Kings are just a half-game back in the standings, and have been playing some of the best basketball of any team since the All-Star break. With Morant out, the Kings will look to make their move and take over the second spot after sitting in third since January 18th.
There would be other teams on the prowl as well. The new-look Phoenix Suns are three games back, and the Warriors two games back of them. In the hotly contested Western Conference, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Grizzlies drop all the way down to the 5th spot should Ja Morant miss multiple weeks of action.
As it stands today, the Memphis Grizzlies have +2200 to win the NBA Championship. They are lower on the list than the Mavericks who are in 7th place, and equal odds as the LeBron-less Lakers, who are currently the 9th seed.
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