The Memphis Grizzlies took down the OKC Thunder Friday night, but it came at a steep price. During the matchup, All-Star point guard Ja Morant tweaked his ankle. He played 32 minutes in the win and posted a stat line of 19 points, seven rebounds, and 11 assists.
After getting a closer look at Morant’s ankle, the Memphis Grizzlies provided an update on his status going forward. He suffered a Grade 1 sprain and has a return timeline of week-to-week.
The Memphis Grizzlies were already shorthanded with Desmond Bane out because of injury and now have to deal with this crushing blow. So far this season, Morant was putting on an MVP-level campaign. Through his first 14 games, he was posting averages of 28.6 PPG, 6.2 RPG, and 7.1 APG.
Memphis Grizzlies need to fully embrace ‘next man up’ mentality
It goes without saying why it will be a tough road ahead for the Memphis Grizzlies. Ja Morant and Desmond Bane have been one of the league’s top backcourts this season, and now will be without both of them for the next couple of weeks. Filling the void left by the two guards will take a group effort.
Moving forward, everyone on the roster will have to embrace the next man up mentality. Two players the team must rely on heavily now are Tyus Jones and John Konchar. Until Morant and Bane are back, they will likely move into the starting lineup.
Luckily for the Grizzlies, they have one of the best backup point guards in the league in Tyus Jones. On top of that, he’s had great success when filling in for Morant. In his first start of the season against the Jazz, Jones went for 23 points and ten assists.
After starting off the year on the right foot, the Memphis Grizzlies are staring down a huge challenge in the coming weeks. Now without their top two options on offense, the team has to find a way to stay competitive until they’re back to full strength.