Grizzlies’ Ja Morant to come off bench in return against Rockets

MEMPHIS, Tenn. –All-Star point guard Ja Morant will come off the bench for the first time in his career Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets, a situation he suggested to the Memphis Grizzlies coaching staff as he returned from an eight- suspension of play.

Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said Morant, who missed Monday’s win over the Dallas Mavericks due to conditioning issues after being out of the team for two weeks, will be on life restrictions. a few minutes within 20 seconds.

“It was something he brought to the table as well as what came to mind,” Jenkins said. “So we collectively thought that was the best strategy, at least for the first one or two games. And then we’ll sort of reevaluate after that.”

The Grizzlies have gone 6-3 in the nine games Morant has missed, winning six of their last seven. Tyus Jones averaged 16.3 points and 8.2 assists while shooting 50.9 percent from the floor and 40 percent from 3-point range during that streak.

Memphis plans to gradually increase Morant’s minutes over the next few games. He was unable to train for the 11 days he spent at a counseling center in Florida after livestreaming video of himself brandishing a handgun at a strip club in Las Vegas. Denver area, resulting in the league-imposed suspension for conduct harmful to the NBA. .

“Obviously we don’t have a long run until the end of the regular season, but we want to be smart with this layoff that we’re not doing anything to jeopardize his health,” Jenkins said.

Morant, who leads the Grizzlies with 27.1 points and 8.2 assists per game, has started the first 240 games of his NBA career.

The Grizzlies host the Rockets again on Friday, followed by a road game against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.


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