The Memphis Grizzlies lost more than just one battle in their Game 1 loss versus the Los Angeles Lakers.
Not only did they lose home-court advantage, but superstar guard Ja Morant also bruised his shooting hand.
Morant couldn’t be on the floor to close out the game, and even though coach Taylor Jenkins stated that he was available for an “emergency situation,” his status for Game 2 is up in the air.
That’s why Skip Bayless believes the Grizzlies should err on the side of caution and rule him out of the game, stating that they would be better off without Morant:
“If Ja plays tonight, I like the Lakers. But if Tyus Jones starts and finishes, I like Memphis in Game 2,” Bayless said on Undisputed.
"If Ja plays tonight, I like the Lakers. But if Tyus Jones starts and finishes, I like Memphis in Game 2."
@RealSkipBayless on Ja Morant's game-time status for Game 2 pic.twitter.com/iY5nudVFBf
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) April 19, 2023
Of course, the renowned pundit didn’t mean this to be a shot at Morant by any means.
He praised Ja, but stated that he’s just not going to be able to take over the game with an injury of that nature, so his team could suffer if his touch isn’t all the way there.
That’s actually quite a valid assessment.
Morant thrives off his speed and athleticism, but not many players can make an impact without their dominant hand.
The Grizzlies have found plenty of success when Jones has had to step up and fill in for Morant.
Needless to say, he’s not the scorer Morant is, and he doesn’t drive as much defensive attention.
But he’s a guy who rarely makes mistakes and knows how to get his teammates involved.
Still, it might all come down to whether Morant feels like he can play and contribute or not.NEXT: Skip Bayless Backs Grizzlies To Beat Lakers Even Without Ja Morant