'We Have Seen' Ja Morant 'Heal Like Wolverine,' De'Anthony Melton Says About Injury

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 8, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 7: Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies handles the ball against the Golden State Warriors during Game 3 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals on May 7, 2022 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

The Memphis Grizzlies may be concerned about Ja Morant's knee injury, but his teammates are holding out hope the All-Star will be available Monday for Game 4 against the Golden State Warriors.

"I mean, we have seen Ja heal like Wolverine out there," De'Anthony Melton told reporters. "He can be limping one day, next day be fine. He is a warrior and a competitor. Who knows where his level of injury is at? He understands his body and what the team needs, and he will make the best decision."

Morant left Game 3 midway through the fourth quarter after Jordan Poole grabbed his knee going for a loose ball. He did not return in what ended as a 142-112 loss, finishing with 34 points and seven assists.

While Morant did not speak to reporters after the game, he sent out a number of cryptic tweets, seemingly casting blame on Poole for the injury. One of the tweets, which has since been deleted, referenced Warriors coach Steve Kerr saying Dillon Brooks "broke the code" on a flagrant 2 foul on Gary Payton II in Game 2. Payton suffered an elbow injury that could keep him out for the remainder of the postseason, and Brooks was suspended for Game 3 for the foul.

"It was a basketball play when we doubled him," Poole told reporters. "And I hit the ball, and I was going for the ball. I mean, obviously, you don't want to see anybody get hurt. I'm not even that type of player. I respect everybody."

The Grizzlies trail 2-1 in the best-of-seven series and will likely see any chance of a comeback evaporate if Morant is unable to be on the floor Monday night. While Memphis played well without Morant during the regular season, it's a different animal going against a Finals-tested Warriors team.

It would be an unfortunate break given the high level of competitiveness over the course of the first three games if an injury winds up playing a deciding factor.