Grizzlies Update: Examining Jordan Poole’s Impact on Ja Morant’s Game 3 Injury

A Fierce Rivalry Erupts: Warriors vs. Grizzlies in Western Conference Semifinals

The clash between the Golden State Warriors and the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference Semifinals has intensified into a fierce rivalry. In Game 3, the Warriors dominated with a resounding 142-112 victory. However, the game took a troubling turn when Grizzlies’ point guard, Ja Morant, suffered a knee injury after a tussle with the Warriors’ Jordan Poole during a scramble for a loose ball.

Ja Morant's knee being grabbed by Jordan Poole

A Series Marked by Aggression

From the very beginning of this second-round matchup between the #2 Grizzlies and #3 Warriors, the physicality has been turned up to the max. In Game 1, Draymond Green of the Warriors was ejected for grabbing Grizzlies forward Brandon Clarke. The tensions escalated further in Game 2 when Dillon Brooks of the Grizzlies was ejected for a flagrant foul against Warriors guard Gary Payton II. Unfortunately, Payton suffered a fractured left elbow and ligament damage, sidelining him for a month. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr criticized Brooks for breaking the unwritten rules of playoff basketball, where hard fouls are expected but intentionally injuring an opponent is not. While Brooks was suspended for Game 3, some argued that he should have received a longer suspension considering the severity of Payton’s injury.

In Game 3, the incident between Poole and Morant occurred during their battle for a loose ball. Poole claimed it was unintentional, stating, “It was a basketball play when we doubled him. I hit the ball, and I was going for the ball. You don’t want to see anybody get hurt. I’m not even that type of player. I respect everybody.” However, the Grizzlies believed otherwise, considering the increasingly physical nature of the series.

Poole Denies Dirty Play but Morant Shines

Despite the controversy surrounding the incident, Morant displayed his exceptional skills once again in Game 3. He scored an impressive 34 points in just 36 minutes, along with seven assists, three rebounds, and three steals. Throughout the series, Morant has been a force to be reckoned with, averaging 38.3 points, 8.3 assists, and 6.7 rebounds per game against the Warriors. In Game 2, he even achieved a staggering 47 points. However, despite his incredible performances, the Grizzlies could not secure victory in either of their losses.

As for Poole, he had a standout game as well, coming off the bench to score 27 points for the Warriors. His sharpshooting prowess was on full display as he connected on 11 out of 17 field goal attempts, including 3 successful three-pointers.

Grizzlies Claim the Code Has Been Broken

In a post-game press conference, Jaren Jackson Jr. stood up for his teammate, echoing Steve Kerr’s earlier words about Brooks’ foul on Payton. Jackson insisted that the team will always support their own and referred to the unwritten code that is often discussed in playoff basketball. While Morant initially tweeted “broke the code,” suggesting that Poole’s play was dirty, he later deleted the post.

Desmond Bane expressed his dismay over the incident, emphasizing Morant’s exceptional performance in the series and the unfortunate nature of the injury. Furthermore, Bane faced criticism for an earlier incident where he appeared to target Poole’s knees in a dive for a loose ball.

Despite differing opinions about the nature of the incidents, medical experts argued that such contact is relatively common in basketball and that intentionally causing a knee injury in that manner is challenging. Replay footage also showed that Morant might have already sustained a knee injury earlier in the game when colliding with Klay Thompson during a defensive closeout.

On Deck: Game 4 and What to Expect

The Warriors currently lead the series 2-1, riding the wave of this intense and physical showdown. Morant’s status remains day-to-day, leaving fans and analysts eager to see if he will return for Game 4.

Game 4 promises to be a captivating spectacle, considering the heightened tensions and incidents that have characterized this series. Will the Grizzlies seek retaliation against the Warriors? Will the officials tighten the calls to prevent further altercations? Or will the game devolve into a rough and tumble affair reminiscent of the gritty basketball games of the 1990s?

Looking at the odds, DraftKings currently favors the Warriors to win the series with -650 odds, while the Grizzlies face a more challenging +400 uphill battle. In terms of the overall NBA championship, the Warriors have +265 odds, making them the second-highest-ranked team in the futures board at DraftKings. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies are considered long shots with +2800 odds.

As this thrilling playoff series progresses, be sure to stay tuned to OG’s coverage of the 2022 NBA playoffs for more updates and insights.


1. Is Ja Morant’s injury severe?

While the full extent of Ja Morant’s knee injury is yet to be determined, his day-to-day status suggests that the injury may not be too severe. However, further evaluations will reveal the exact nature and severity of the injury.

2. Will Dillon Brooks face additional suspensions?

Dillon Brooks served a suspension for Game 3 following his flagrant foul against Gary Payton II. Whether or not he will face additional suspensions depends on the league’s evaluation of the severity of the foul and the resulting injury. It remains to be seen if any further disciplinary action will be taken.

3. Who has the home court advantage in Game 4?

Game 4 will be held at the Chase Center in San Francisco, giving the Golden State Warriors the home court advantage. This factor could potentially play a role in the outcome of the game.

4. How have the officials handled the physicality in this series?

The officials have faced scrutiny for their handling of the physicality in this series. Some argue that they have been lenient, allowing a more rough-and-tumble style of play reminiscent of the 1990s. Others believe they should tighten the calls to discourage further altercations and promote a safer environment on the court.

5. What are the chances of the Grizzlies making a comeback in the series?

Currently trailing 2-1, the Memphis Grizzlies face an uphill battle to make a comeback in the series. However, as evidenced by their resilience throughout the playoffs, nothing can be ruled out. With Ja Morant’s exceptional performances and a strong team mentality, the Grizzlies still have a chance to turn the tables and advance to the Western Conference Finals.

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Doug I. Jones

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