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NBA News And Notes

With just over a month left in the regular season, teams are in the final stretch as they jockey for playoff positioning. With ten teams making the playoffs, four in each conference via the play-in tournament, more teams than ever feel like they have a chance to make the postseason.

With so much focus on the action on the court, let’s look at some of the week’s biggest stories around the NBA.

Rough Weekend For The Memphis Grizzlies

Despite sitting in second place in the Western Conference with a 38-24 record, it was a really rough weekend for the Memphis Grizzlies. Not only did they lose 113-97 to the conference-leading Nuggets on Friday, but they also lost three of their top five scorers this weekend.

Most noteworthy, Ja Morant will be away from the team for at least the next two games after the league announced it was looking into a video that showed Morant wielding a gun at a strip club over the weekend.

The video came from his Instagram Live feed. Morant has since issued a statement that he “takes full responsibility for his actions” and is “going to take some time away to get help and work on learning better methods of dealing with his stress…”.

Morant is averaging 27.1 points, six rebounds, and 8.2 assists per game over 53 games this season.
Also, in the loss to the Nuggets, forward Brandon Clarke had to leave the game, and he has since been diagnosed with a torn Achilles tendon and will miss the rest of the year. In 56 games, Clarke is averaging 10 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

If all of that wasn’t enough, the Grizzlies also learned they would be without Dillon Brooks for their game on Sunday versus the Los Angeles Clippers. Brooks is suspended for one game without pay after picking up his 16th technical of the season. Brooks is averaging 14.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game.
Memphis is tied for the seventh-best odds of winning the NBA championship this season at +1700.

Milwaukee Adds Free Agent Goran Dragic

After picking up Patrick Beverley from the buyout market, the Chicago Bulls decided that veteran guard Goran Dragic was expendable and released the 36-year-old. On Saturday, his time in free agency officially ended as he signed with the Milwaukee Bucks.

In 51 games this season, Dragic is averaging 6.4 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. With the Bucks, he will likely serve as depth behind starter Jrue Holiday and reserve Jevon Carter.

Milwaukee currently leads the Eastern Conference with a 45-18 record. They have the second-best odds of winning the Eastern Conference (+150) and NBA Finals (+320) this season, trailing just the Boston Celtics in both.

Kris Dunn Gets Second Contract With Jazz

The Utah Jazz liked what they saw from veteran guard Kris Dunn in his first 10-day contract and signed him to a second 10-day contract on Saturday. In four games in his first contract, he averaged 12 points, 4.5 assists, and 3.8 rebounds in just over 22 minutes a game.

If he continues to impress, the Jazz will have to decide whether or not to sign him, as he is only permitted two 10-day contracts.

Utah is 31-33, good for ninth in the Western Conference. They are just +49000 to win the NBA Finals this season.

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