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Grizzlies guard Ja Morant downgraded to doubtful vs. Heat

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Grizzlies guard Ja Morant doubtful to play vs. Heat
USA Today Network

Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant is listed as doubtful for Monday night’s game against the Miami Heat. The fourth-year player is still recovering from left ankle soreness.

Morant has only missed three games this season. But he might not be up to playing for this matchup. Through 20 starts this season, the guard is averaging 28.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 7.5 assists, and 1.1 steals. Plus, he’s shooting 46.4% from the floor and 37% beyond the arc.

According to some NBA betting sites, the Grizzlies have the ninth-best odds to win the championship in 2023. A few sportsbooks show better odds for the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference.

On Oct. 21, in Memphis’ 129-122 win over the Houston Rockets, the guard scored a season-high 49 points in 32 minutes of action. He finished 17-of-26 (65.4%) shooting from the field and 5-of-6 (83.3%) from downtown.

When playing his best, Morant is the most valuable player for Memphis. His player efficiency rating is 24.5 and the guard’s true shooting percentage is 56.1%. The Grizzlies are also utilizing the Murray State product in 35.8% of their plays with him on the court.

Grizzlies star Ja Morant (left ankle) is listed as doubtful for Monday night’s home game against the Heat

Moreover, in the Grizzlies’ 122-112 win against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, Morant scored 21 of his 33 points during the third quarter alone. Now, they have won four of their last five games.

“He’s a special player and he has a special impact on us winning games,” Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said of Morant after the win. “Obviously, he scored 33 points, but he also did a really good job of distributing the basketball. He was huge.”

Other players listed on the Grizzlies’ injury report include Danny Green (knee), Steven Adams (hip), and Jake LaRavia (foot). All three players are questionable to play on Monday night.

Jaren Jackson Jr. (injury management) and Danny Green (knee) have been ruled out. Desmond Bane (toe) and Ziaire Williams (knee) remain out indefinitely as well.

Meanwhile, Dewayne Dedmon (plantar fasciitis) and Gabe Vincent (knee) are listed as questionable on Miami’s injury report. Of course, Victor Oladipo (knee) and Omer Yurtseven (ankle) remain out indefinitely.

Per ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, the Grizzlies have a 63.5% chance of defeating the Heat. Sportsbooks show Memphis as a two-point favorite at FedExForum.

James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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