Ja Morant injury update: Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins offers cloudy take on star PG return vs Lakers in NBA playoffs

Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant suffered no ligament damage to his right hand in their opening playoff loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, according to coach Taylor Jenkins. Morant, a two-time All-Star, had an MRI on Monday, which showed only bruising of the tissue between the bones. However, he is dealing with pain and soreness, and his condition will be a game-time decision for Wednesday night’s Game 2.

“Symptoms are slightly improving from the other night,” Jenkins said after practice. “He’s going to be a game-time decision. He’s going to come in and get working in the morning and test it out, see how is feeling.”

Morant aggravated an injury from April 7 when Memphis clinched the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference during a win at Milwaukee. He appeared to bend his right hand as he landed after driving to the basket against Lakers center Anthony Davis. He was called for a charge with 5:48 left, writhed in pain, then ran toward the Grizzlies’ bench letting out a yell near midcourt before sprinting to the locker room.

Morant returned to the bench with his hand wrapped with a black brace instead of the white tape he played with during the 128-112 loss to the Lakers. During the portion of practice open to reporters, Morant did not use his right hand at all. He finished the session with a bag of ice wrapped over his right hand.

This season has been a challenging one for Morant. He signed a five-year, supermax contract last July after being named the NBA’s Most Improved Player. It was the latest step for the No. 2 pick overall in the 2019 draft who wound up the league’s Rookie of the Year. Morant made his first All-Star game last season as the Grizzlies earned the No. 2 seed in the West.

“We’ll see how he does tomorrow,” Jenkins said.

The Grizzlies do have some backup insurance if Morant can’t play against the Lakers. Memphis signed veteran Tyus Jones to a two-year, $29 million fully guaranteed extension last summer for insurance and to give Jenkins the chance to put both Morant and Jones on the court together at times.

The Precarious Balance of Power: Ja Morant Injury Update and Its Potential Impact on the Outcome of the Lakers vs. Grizzlies Playoff Series

The Los Angeles Lakers won the opening game of the playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday. However, Ja Morant’s hand injury makes his availability for the second game uncertain.

With the Lakers currently the favorites to win Game 2, Skip Bayless and other Memphis fans believe that Memphis will win if Morant is unable to play.

He thinks that Tyus Jones, whom he calls the best backup point guard in the league, will lead the Grizzlies to victory. Bayless noted Jones’ impressive performance against the Los Angeles Clippers earlier in the season and his strong track record of multiple double-digit assist games since March.

Despite the absence of Morant, the Grizzlies have enough talent to pose a threat to the Lakers. Therefore, the Lakers cannot afford to underestimate Memphis and should be prepared for a tough game on Wednesday.



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