Ja Morant Returns To The Memphis Grizzlies And Reminds The League Just How Scary He Can Be
Memphis Grizzlies rookie star Ja Morant made his return to the lineup Monday night as he led his team to a 110-102 against the Golden St. Warriors on the road. Morant would finish with 26 points - pacing a balanced attack from a Grizzlies team desperate for a win.
Morant was incredible. He came in looking like the four games that he missed might have been a good thing in a sense. Morant looked even more poised and locked in than usual and knew exactly when to sit back and when to attack. We got our usual dose of "Fourth-Quarter Ja." as he went off for 13 points on 5 of 6 shooting in the fourth quarter.
“Yeah there’s a lot of trust with him and when the ball is in his hand," said Memphis Grizzlies Head Coach Taylor Jenkins on Morant's fourth-quarter performances. "Whether he’s making the right play we wanted to make sure that he was playing a solid 48 minutes with an attack mentality, knowing that he is score first, but he is also super unselfish and will make the right plays. Had a couple of assists late and had some buckets that we needed in order to kill a run. As a team we have to get better as a coaching staff when teams are trying to take away Ja (Morant) especially late in the game. But it is certainly a great thing to see early on in his career.”
Morant would speak on his fourth-quarter performance that shut the door on the Warriors comeback attempt as well.
“I kinda just like to focus on what I can control and what happens between those four lines," said Morant. "In terms of all the accolades and awards and numbers, I don’t really pay attention to that stuff. I just take what the defense gives me. I never try to force anything. I feel like they were going under a lot of my screens and it’s either shot or attack or find the open man. I think that tonight we were able to get stops and play the way that we wanted to. We had a lot of people step up tonight.”
Morant also went 3 of 5 from behind the three-point line on the night, bringing his season percentage to a surprising 43.2-percent. Morant has had his jump-shot questioned coming into the league but he has been accurate with it so far on his 2.4 attempts per game. If Morant can increase his attempts and maintain his accuracy, he will be one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in the league.
“It was fun. I missed it," Morant said about returning back to the team. "It was tough sitting there on the sideline knowing that I wanna be out there. Just felt good to get out there again.”
The Grizzlies (7-16) now prepare for their final game of their four-game road trip against the Phoenix Suns (11-12) before returning home to face the Milwaukee Bucks (21-3).