Ja Morant continues to drive Memphis Grizzlies to new levels; take 3-2 series lead over Wolves

Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

Ja Morant continues to drive the Memphis Grizzlies to new levels, this time in the first round of the NBA Playoffs against the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

What will be the main talking point and most remembered from this contest is Ja Morant’s game-winning layup with one second remaining. The shot gave the Memphis Grizzlies a 111-109 victory and a one-game lead in the series over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 5.

The biggest difference in this game was points in the paint, the area was dominated by the Grizzlies. They bested the Wolves 62-38 in the category. This discrepancy did not stop the game from being competitive as the contest featured eight lead changes and four ties.

What Memphis did right and wrong

Despite starting center Steven Adams not stepping on the court for the Grizzlies, that did not prevent the squad from out-rebounding the Wolves by 11, 42-53. Those extra rebounds help the Grizz hoist 11 more shots than the T-Wolves. They did not take as much advantage from it as they could making only two more shots than Minnesota and shooting an abysmal three-point percentage of 7-28 25.0 percent.

In the moments it mattered most, Ja Morant was better than any other player floor as he scored 11 of the game’s final 17 points in the last two minutes of regulation.

How the Timberwolves can be Better

Minnesota must find a way to limit the Grizzlies in the pant if they want to send the series back to Memphis for a Game 7, if not this will end in Game 6. The T-Wolves stars need to cut their fouling down too, Karl-Anthony Towns had five personal fouls, Patrick Beverly fouled out of the game with six fouls, and Anthony Edwards added another five fouls. The trio helped contribute to Memphis’ 39 free throw attempts.

Game 5 was the Grizzlies’ second most free throw attempts in the series, the most were 43 attempts in Game 1, which is the most in a single game overall this postseason. Furthermore, this series has three of the top-five free throw attempt games during the playoffs.

Additional notes

This was too good not to give it a shout-out, the Grizzlies-Wolves game was broadcast on TNT and the NBA on TNT crew was in rare form last night getting after the Brooklyn Nets and Kevin Durant. If you did not see it, they made some all-time classic memes, spoofed The Office, and Charles Barkley literally drove a bus off the lot.

Next. Toronto Raptors: 3 reasons why they could pull off an unlikely 3-0 series comeback. dark

Game 6 is set for Friday. This has a fun first-round series that many did not expect to be very competitive. However, the fourth and sixth youngest teams in the league have both established themselves as very tough outs in the playoffs, and potentially a new rivalry.