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Ja Morant’s shooting hand (*wink, wink*) is in bad shape ahead of Wednesday’s Game 2 after harshly falling on it on Sunday.
Morant went down hard on his already-bandaged right hand in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s Game 1 against the Lakers. And based on Moran’ts status, as of Tuesday (Apr. 18), the Grizzlies star is in real danger of missing the pivotal Game 2 with Memphis down in the series (0-1).
Save The Stress: Morant Highly Likely To Miss Game 2
According to The Athletic / Stadium’s Shams Charania, X-rays were conducted on Morant’s injured hand, and no fractures or breaks were detected from the fall. Morant was diagnosed with a soft tissue bruise.
During a drive to the basket, Ja Morant clashed with Lakers big man Anthony Davis and Morant fell forward as he tried to bait the charge. Morant quickly got up and ran to the locker room, ending his night early as Memphis faced a single-digit deficit.
Los Angeles won the game, 128-112.
Spirits were low after the game as Morant shared how severely the injury impacted him.
“I’m in a good bit of pain,” Ja Morant said after the game. “My main focus was to be out there for my guys. Another incident where, you know, that’s pretty much in jeopardy.”
Morant has been deemed a “game-time decision” for Wednesday; still, don’t hold your breath on a return if you’re a Grizzlies fan. After all, Morant has put his fans through enough stress this season.
Considering how severely his hand bent forward after landing on it, it’s a miracle that Ja’s not out for the postseason.
Ultimately, losing Ja Morant for Game 2 should put the Grizzlies on high alert.
Ja Morant Could Have Been A Boon In ‘Do-or-Die’ Game
Memphis has fared decently without Morant. In 21 absences during the regular season, the Grizzlies went 11-10 without the young star. But when you look at Morant’s production during Game 2’s in the postseason, the 23-year-old is unstoppable.
As relayed by StatMuse, Morant averages 39.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 8.3 assists and 1.3 steals in Game 2 performances.
Memphis needs Morant to tie up the series, but the injury bug is striking the Grizz at the wrong time.
It’ll be too tall a task for Memphis to try matching up against a healthy, playoff-ready Lakers team with newfound bench depth.
LA’s leading scorer on Sunday was midseason acquisition Rui Hachimura, who scored 29 points off the bench, hitting 5 of 6 three-point attempts. Reserve guard Dennis Schroder has been effective at upping the offense’s tempo and can hit clutch shots in the fourth quarter.
It’s common sense, but Memphis will seriously want to avoid a 2-0 series deficit.
Not only can the Lakers take the dominating lead, but they’ll also be flipping the series back to Los Angeles with all the momentum for a series sweep.
Ja Morant can assumedly return by the time the series wraps, but his health will be closer to 50 percent health than 100.
Memphis is truly the home of the blues.
Follow Alejandro Avila on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela
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