Memphis Grizzlies star point guard Ja Morant was diagnosed with a bone bruise in his right knee and is unlikely to play again this postseason, the team said Tuesday, May 10 (Wednesday, May 11, Manila time).
The Grizzlies said Morant is “doubtful for the remainder of the postseason but is expected to make a full recovery.”
Memphis’ season could be over as soon as Wednesday night. The Grizzlies face a 3-1 deficit to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference semifinals.
The explosive All-Star averaged 38.3 points, 8.3 assists, and 6.7 rebounds in the series. He scored 47 points in Game 2 and 34 in Games 1 and 3.
Morant injured his knee in the fourth quarter of Game 3 on Saturday in a play that involved Warriors guard Jordan Poole.
Poole grabbed Morant’s right knee while attempting a steal and Morant could be seen limping out of the area after that game and was sidelined during Monday’s 101-98 loss to the Warriors.
Poole has denied he had any intention of injuring this season’s Most Improved Player award winner and was simply making a “basketball play.”
Morant took a shot at Poole online for the play but quickly deleted it. Poole and Morant shook hands before Game 4.
The 22-year-old Morant averaged 27.4 points, 6.7 assists, and 5.7 rebounds in 57 regular-season games. He made the All-Star team for the first time in his three-year career. He was NBA Rookie of the Year for the 2019-2020 season.
The Warriors-Grizzlies series has been marked by physical play and bad blood between the squads.
Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks was ejected early in Game 2 and was suspended for Game 3 for a hard foul on Warriors guard Gary Payton II.
Payton was attempting a layup when Brooks hit him in the head. Payton landed hard on the court, fracturing in his left elbow and will be out for at least two weeks.
Brooks has said he was going for the ball on a fast-paced play and added: “If I could take it back, I would. But I can’t take it back.”
Game 5 is on Wednesday in Memphis. – Rappler.com