How Ja Morant’s Suspension Could Actually Help the Grizzlies


Ja Morant made his return to the court tonight in a 130-125 win over the Rockets and one ESPN analyst has pointed out that his absence could greatly benefit the Grizzlies.

“One thing that’s going to be interesting, and this happened with Steph Curry a year ago,” ESPN’s Tim Legler said. “A guard late in the year…I know he brought a lot of this negative attention to himself and he’s been suspended, he’s been away from the team but you know what else he’s not doing? He’s not putting any wear and tear on his legs at this time of year.

“When you come back after a lay off this late in the season, you are revitalized from an energy standpoint,” Legler continued. “Ja, I think is going to be the best version we’ve seen Ja be all year because I don’t think this is actually going to distract him. I don’t think it’s going to bother him. It’s going to make him more focused and fresher. When you’ve got a fresh set of wheels as a basketball player, particularly a point guard, and you come back this late in the year – that could bode well for them.”

Morant missed a total of nine games after being suspended for flashing a gun at a strip club in Denver while live streaming on Instagram.

The 23-year-old looked ready to put the incident behind him as he picked up 17 points, four rebounds, five assists and two steals in 24 minutes and in classic Ja fashion, wasted no time with a poster dunk.

The point guard was welcomed back with a standing ovation from the Memphis crowd.

“It felt good,” Morant told ESPN after the game. “Still a little bit of mixed emotions, but I was excited to be back. I love these guys, I love our fans, I love the organization for their continued support throughout this process I’m going through. They helped me a lot.

Memphis are riding a four-game win streak and are edging closer to that first seed spot in the West. Having their best player back could definitely make that a reality in the final stretch of the season.