Grizzlies’ Ja Morant set to return tonight against the Spurs

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant-Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant-Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /

Ja Morant appears ready to return for the Grizzlies tonight. Here is why that is huge for their upcoming stretch of games.

After missing the past two games with a thigh injury, Grizzlies star point guard Ja Morant was left off the injury report for their game against the Spurs tonight. Tyus Jones has more than held his own with him out, but having Morant back healthy is important as they chase the Nuggets for first place in the Western Conference.

The Grizzlies may have handled the Jazz and the Spurs without Morant, but with games against multiple current playoff teams coming up, it is great to see him back. What should fans expect from him tonight? Let’s dive into the data.

Grizzlies’ Ja Morant has thrived coming off injury

So far this season, Morant has had five instances of returning from a minor injury. In those five games, he has averaged 31.6 points, 7.0 assists, and 8.6 rebounds. He clearly plays with a ton of energy and aggression, no doubt an attempt to set the tone and get the opponent on their heels. Even though the Grizzlies have held up well without Morant this season (4-3 record), it’s a whole different team with him out there.

As good of a team Grizzlies GM Zach Kleiman has built around him, Morant is still the catalyst for their success. They are 23-10 with him in the lineup, which would be just barely behind the Boston Celtics for the best winning percentage in the league. With his return, they may even be able to set a franchise record for consecutive wins. That current record sits at 11 games, so they could break it if they manage to win from now until after their matchup with the Lakers on January 20th.

Even if they don’t break that record, they should have a good opportunity to keep pace with the Nuggets as they battle for first place in the West. That is all that really matters as the Grizzlies continue to chase their first NBA title.