The big question ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies at the Golden State Warriors Game 4 matchup is the status of Ja Morant. The Grizzlies PG limped off the court Saturday night with just over six minutes left, favoring his knee, after a collision with Golden State’s Jordan Poole. The Warriors went on to win 142-112.
This semifinal series now sits at 2-1 in favor of the Warriors. Golden State took over home-court advantage with a 117-116 in the opener; now it’s up to the Grizzlies to get a win in the bay before heading back to Memphis. The Warriors are up to a -10.5 after Saturday’s 30-point win and with the status of Morant in general.
Grizzlies Fine Without Morant
Make no mistake, Morant is an electric player who has scored 34+ points in all three games this series while also averaging over eight assists, but the Grizzlies were also 20-5 without him this season. When somebody like Morant burns up that much usage in a game, it can be kind of refreshing for others when he’s out of the lineup.
Desmond Bane averages 19.0 ppg without Morant in the lineup, and Dillon Brooks put up 19.1 in 20 games without his starting PG. Brooks is back in the lineup on Monday night after serving a one-game suspension for his foul on Gary Payton II in Game 2. Jaren Jackson, Jr, Tyus Jones, De’Anthony Melton, and Brandon Clarke all also averaged in double figures without Morant not in the lineup this season.
Warriors Like Where They are At
Memphis fans ran an online campaign to have Poole suspended for this game, but nothing came of it, so the Warriors guard will be available on Monday night. Now Morant is doubtful, and Poole is in the lineup after averaging 26 ppg so far this series, giving Golden State a huge advantage heading into Game 4.
Golden State was clicking on Saturday night, with Steph Curry going for 30 points despite being 2-8 from three-point range. Klay Thompson also had 21 in a very balanced attack where six players scored at least 13 points. The Warriors shot 63% from the floor and 52% from three in Game 3.
Grizzlies/Warriors Betting Prediction
Sure, Morant is likely sidelined on Monday night, but is that enough to warrant a double-digit point spread for the #2 seed in the Western Conference?
Memphis wasn’t as bad on Saturday as their 30-point loss would indicate, shooting 43% from the field and 37% from three; it’s just that the Warriors were red hot.
Memphis’ Game 2 win (106-101) came behind 47 points from Morant, so his absence will definitely be felt. That being said, the Grizzlies were 20-5 without him this season, and this provides a great step-up opportunity for the likes of Bane, Jones, and Brooks.
The Grizzlies may not pull off the upset, but that is a lot of points to be getting for a semifinal game.
Betting Pick: Grizzlies +10.5