May 10 update: The Grizzlies announced on Tuesday evening that Morant is doubtful for the remainder of the playoffs. This is likely precautionary with the Grizzlies trailing the Warriors 3-1 heading into Game 5 on Wednesday night. Chances are Golden State will eliminate Memphis anyway, but you never know what could happen. Morant’s knee is the most important thing to the Grizzlies, ensuring he’s healthy heading into next season.
May 9 update: Morant is officially out for Game 4 against the Warriors.
May 8 update: Morant is unlikely to play in Game 4 against the Warriors due to his knee injury, according to Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins. The guard hasn’t been ruled out for the game yet officially but it looks like he’s going to be out. The Grizzlies haven’t said anything on his injury long-term, which means it’s likely a day-to-day issue. He’s officially been listed as doubtful.
Grizzlies‘ Ja Morant (right knee) is likely to miss Game 4 vs. Warriors, coach Taylor Jenkins says.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 8, 2022
Update: Here is Poole’s response upon seeing the play which Morant apparently got injured on. There’s no official status on the Grizzlies guard. That’ll come tomorrow after further tests. The Grizzlies are speaking as if it is a substantial injury, but we won’t know for sure until Sunday.
Jordan Poole watched the play where he grabbed Ja Morant’s knee at the podium. Here is his response. pic.twitter.com/VhFTmkHlCi— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) May 8, 2022
Update: Morant has tweeted out the video himself using the phrase “broke the code”, which is what Steve Kerr said Dillon Brooks did on his Flagrant 2 foul resulting in Gary Payton II’s injury. Poole’s pull doesn’t look intentional, but it doesn’t look innocent either. This is going to be an interesting decision for the league regarding discipline, especially if Morant misses the rest of the series. And the bad blood between the two teams in this series has reached a new level, if that was even possible.
Update: The bad blood in this series might just go to another level. After Draymond Green’s ejection in Game 1 and Dillon Brooks’ suspension in Game 3, Morant’s knee injury might have been caused by a Warriors player. At least, that’s how Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins sees it. There’s going to be a war of words here, but the question of Morant’s status for the remainder of the series remains.
Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins said Warriors guard Jordan Poole grabbed Ja Morant’s knee and yanked it.— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) May 8, 2022
Here’s video of the incident. It looks like Poole is initially going for the steal, but he does catch Morant’s knee and gives a slight tug.
This looks like the play Ja Morant got hurt. pic.twitter.com/J24ssu5i9P— Drew Hill (@DrewHill_DM) May 8, 2022
The Golden State Warriors have opened up a massive lead over the Memphis Grizzlies in the fourth quarter of Game 3 in the second-round series, but the bigger concern for the visitors is the health of Ja Morant. The star point guard limped off the floor with an apparent knee injury in the fourth quarter. He would eventually go the locker room with the game all but locked up.
Ja Morant limping to the locker room pic.twitter.com/Nhdaf0oLfY— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) May 8, 2022
Morant did attempt to play through the injury despite the deficit, but felt the pain as he went to shoot free throws. The guard had a brilliant game with 34 points and seven assists, but the supporting cast wasn’t able to parlay a hot start into consistent success offensively. The Grizzlies also got torched defensively.
Memphis did play well without Morant this season but the series looks wrapped up if he cannot continue. The Warriors have been dominating Memphis’ peripheral players outside of Morant, and it took a Herculean effort from the guard just to get one win. This could be a tough loss for the Grizzlies if the knee injury turns out to be serious.