The Memphis Grizzlies hold a two-game lead on the Golden State Warriors for the 2-seed in the West with just nine games to go, and they are all but assured a top-3 spot and at minimum homecourt in the first round of the playoffs.
The stretch run for Memphis will not provide much in the way of opportunity for a dress rehearsal for the playoffs, though, as they will be without their All-Star point guard for the next two weeks, at minimum, as Ja Morant deals with soreness in his right knee. Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins announced Morant, who missed the last two games for Memphis, would be re-evaluated in two weeks, but did indicate that this seemed to be more precautionary, noting the expectation is he’s at full strength for the playoffs.
Grizzlies star Ja Morant will be re-evaluated in two weeks due to tweaked knee, coach Taylor Jenkins says.Advertisement
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 24, 2022
Taylor Jenkins said they are offloading him and expect him back healthy by the playoffs.
— Damichael Cole (@DamichaelC) March 24, 2022
The good news for the Grizzlies is they have been sensational without Morant in the lineup this season, going 15-2 in his absence so far this year, most recently taking down the Brooklyn Nets on national TV on Wednesday night. Having Morant at full strength is of utmost concern at this point, and their position certainly affords them some cushion to be cautious with their young star. Even with Morant out, they still are favored to finish in the 2-seed and then would await the winner of the first play-in game in the West to learn their opponent.