The Memphis Grizzlies have played without Ja Morant, the franchise’s face, for their last three games and at least three more without him. They are slowly getting used to it.
When the Dallas Mavericks visit the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday in the opening game of a home-and-home series, they probably will start that process for themselves. Due to an injury to his left thigh, Mavericks star Luka Doncic will not participate.
Dallas has lost seven of its last ten games heading into their series with Memphis. Memphis, which beat the Golden State Warriors 131-110 on Thursday to end a three-game losing streak, has won the last three games. In the final quarter, the Grizzlies outscored the Warriors 32-17, taking the lead.
As the Grizzlies adjust to Morant’s absence, that trust persisted. After posting a video on social media over the weekend that appeared to show him displaying a gun at a Denver-area nightclub, he has since left the venue.
Since last Saturday, Morant has been in constant communication with the team, according to Dillon Brooks. On Thursday, Brooks also had a lot of contact with Golden State’s Draymond Green, and the two of them got into a heated fight both on and off the court.
Desmond Bane, who scored 21 points against Golden State, scored 14 points in Memphis’ first game against Dallas, which the Mavericks won 137-96 on Oct. 22. For their respective teams, Morant (20 points) and Doncic (32 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds) led the way.
However, the Mavericks, who have just 15 games remaining in the regular season, are concerned about Doncic’s health. In the third quarter of Dallas’ 113-106 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday, he scored 15 points before leaving the game.
With the acquisition of eight-time All-Star Kyrie Irving from the Brooklyn Nets last month, Dallas hopes to introduce a new element to the Grizzlies. Since joining the team, he has played in 11 games and averaged 27.5 points and 5.1 rebounds, including 32.5 and 5.0 in four games this month. However, for personal reasons, he missed practice on Friday; Kidd is hopeful that he will be on the court on Saturday.
In two games against Memphis this season, Irving, who scored 27 points on Wednesday, has averaged 25.5 points and 6.5 rebounds.