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NBA commissioner Adam Silver has suspended Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant for eight games because of conduct detrimental to the league. That’s after he was spotted with a gun inside a strip club during a live video stream on Instagram.
Morant missed the last six games, which many insiders believed was a shadow suspension by the league. Morant and Silver met at NBA headquarters in New York City on Wednesday to discuss his punishment. Silver officially suspended Morant for eight games without pay.
Since he’s already sat out six games, Morant will miss two more games to finish out his suspension. Morant is slated to return to the Grizzlies next week against the Dallas Mavericks. The Grizzlies went 3-3 without Morant in the lineup.
In his fourth season with the Grizzlies, Morant led the team in scoring and assists by averaging 27.1 points, 8.2 assists, and 6.0 rebounds per game.
Things Not to Do in Denver
Morant was involved in several off-the-court incidents that came to light in recent weeks. But the lapse of judgment following a loss in Denver in early March is what got him into hot water.
After the Grizzlies lost to the Denver Nuggets on March 3, Morant attended a well-known strip club called Shotgun Willies, which is located in the Denver suburb of Glendale, Colo. He appeared on an Instagram Live video inside the club while brandishing a firearm.
NBA players are frequent visitors to gentlemen’s clubs and other striptease establishments. But almost all of them are wise enough to avoid flashing a gun on social media while getting a lap dance in the VIP room.
Morant stepped away from the Grizzlies last week while the NBA launched an investigation. During his time away from the team, Morant spent a short stint at a treatment facility in Florida. According to a statement released by Morant, he sought help to “work on learning better methods of dealing with stress and my overall well-being.”
Morant left treatment this week and flew to New York City for a meeting with Silver to discuss his return to the Grizzlies.
Morant Involved in Multiple Gun Incidents
Only 23 years old, Morant has already established himself as one of the most exciting players in the NBA. He won the 2019 NBA Rookie of the Year and earned Most Improved Player in his third season in the league last year.
Many young players have a tough time adjusting to life as a celebrity and try to find a balance between friends and family back home and life as a professional athlete. Several of Morant’s friends and family from South Carolina relocated with him to Memphis after the Grizzlies selected him with the #2 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Some of his South Carolina crew got him involved in a shady incident in late January after a home game against the Indiana Pacers. Morant’s friends targeted the Pacers team bus with a gun and laser sight while it was parked in the loading area at FedExForum. It was supposedly in good jest, but the Pacers reported the incident to the NBA league office.
A couple of weeks ago, a report surfaced that Morant flashed a gun during a pickup game at his home during the off-season after a spat escalated between himself and a 17-year-old guest.
Betting the Grizzlies in Wake of Morant Suspension
The Grizzlies have a 41-26 record and currently occupy second place in the Western Conference standings. They’re four games behind the first-place Denver Nuggets and hold a one-game lead over the third-place Sacramento Kings.
If the season ended today, the Grizzlies would earn the #2 seed in the playoffs for the second consecutive postseason. The Golden State Warriors eliminated the Grizzlies in the Western Conference semifinals in the 2022 NBA playoffs.
The Grizzlies are +2200 odds to win the 2022-23 NBA championship and are the eighth-highest team on DraftKings’ futures board. At the end of January, the Grizzlies were as low as +850 odds to win the title.
According to a prediction by FiveThirtyEight, the Grizzlies have a 27% chance to advance to the 2023 NBA Finals and a 12% chance to win the championship.
The Grizzlies are +900 odds to win the Western Conference and are the fifth-highest team on the board, despite the fact they’re in second place.
The Grizzlies are only 32-33-2 against the spread this season, but have gone 6-3 ATS in their last nine games.
If you’re an NBA totals bettor, then you’re aware that the Grizzlies were the best under-betting team in the NBA this season. The points total under was 37-28-2 this season with a 57% success rate.
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