The Memphis Grizzlies just haven’t been close to the same without star point guard Ja Morant, suspended by the NBA for the first 25 games.
Of course, they’ve been without more than just Morant. Starting center Steven Adams was also lost for the season with a torn ACL, suffered before he played a game.
The Grizzlies finished second in the Western Conference last season. Now, they’re on basketball life support, entering Tuesday night with a dismal record of 3-13.
But that means they’ve played 16 games — and have just nine more to go without their All-Star.
And according to Drew Hill of the Daily Memphian, Morant is ramping it up and starting to increase his practice reps as he gets ready for a return.
“He’s frustrated like all of us,” Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said, via Hill. “He has openly talked to his team about how he wishes he was out there for them, and he wants to be out there for them.”
Morant received his suspension for appearing on social media with a firearm a second time. He was docked eight games last season for the same conduct.