Wednesday, July 6, 2022

No Memphis Crash Here

who knows?
Image: Getty Images


With the announcement of Ja Morant’s bone injury and the prospect of him missing the rest of the playoffs following a Game 3 knee injury, the Grizzlies’ future in this series seems doomed. Without their 22-year-old point guard, Memphis could have easily given up, desperate. Instead, they stepped on the warrior’s neck. 134-95. Klay Thompson called it “embarrassing.” He is right.

Without Jia on the court this season, Memphis is now 21-6. He’s still on the bench with his signature energy, but without a top-scoring core, everyone else is on their feet instead of falling apart.Desmond Bain, Tess Jones and Jaren Jackson Jr. All had 21 points, and four others had double-digit contributions in the scoring column. With a 77-50 lead at halftime, the direction of the game — and this series — was pretty clear. At one point, the Grizzlies went up by 55 points and came very close to breaking the postseason point differential record.

The Grizzlies are 41-25 this year with Morant on the floor — he’s clearly making a huge impact as the team’s leader in points, rebounds, assists and steals, but maybe not as much as we think That’s crucial to a team’s success. Or maybe it’s just a team’s mindset to win or go home in the playoffs and soon be forced to face the reality of having their best player off the bench. They can (and often do) win without him — so without diminishing his impact on the team, let’s see why the Grizzlies are still so complete without Morant on the floor.

The Nets are 8-19 on the season without Kevin Durant. The Bucks went 6-9 without Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Bulls are 9-7 without Zach LaVine, and while he’s not a superstar like the others, it’s still. The Suns are 8-6 without Devin Booker, but they have another star in Chris Paul. But the Grizzlies are 21 and 6 points, with no player able to lead the team in scoring average by the second-highest 9 points per game. How, how, how? It shouldn’t be possible, but here we are, Game 6 is coming.

Maybe it’s their uninhibited youth – coached by a 37-year-old coach, built by a 34-year-old player, the oldest player on the team is under 30, they lack an experienced leader to rely on, and they are looking for more More and more benefits. They don’t panic about not having a star, because he’s not a Durant legend or a Giannis leader. Sure, he brings his class, energy and talent to the field, but he’s still 22 years old, and while they can rely on him for their numbers, they don’t have to rely on him the same way the glue that holds the team together .

They are a fearless physical team and their defense actually improve Without Morant, fewer points and more turnovers. Of course, there is an element of unpredictability in opposing defenses without a star shooter.

There’s always a chance they’ll lose tomorrow night or Game 7, if it comes to that, but it won’t be for lack of effort, hope or energy. Sometimes, your leading scorer is the deciding factor – but sometimes, a game like last night happens. The Warriors may not be ready for what’s to come.


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