The Memphis Grizzlies will be without their star. The Golden State Warriors will be without their coach.
Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins pregame that Ja Morant is out Monday night for Game 4 with a sore knee suffered in Game 3. The Warriors said that head coach Steve Kerr has tested positive for COVID and will not be on the bench Monday.
The Grizzlies said that Morant injured his knee when the Warriors’ Jordan Poole reached for a steal and hit the knee, pulling it (the NBA did not see anything on the play and Poole was not fined or suspended). Morant also was bothered by his knee earlier in the game after a close-out and was hopping around in some pain. Whenever and however it happened, it was enough to keep the Grizzlies’ breakout star off the court.
While the Grizzlies went 20-5 in the regular season without Morant, in the playoffs Memphis is getting outscored by 15.2 points per 100 possessions when Morant is off the court. Against better and more focused teams, the Grizzlies have struggled to score without Morant on the court, averaging less than a point per possession when he sits. They will need to find some offense on Monday night or they will be in a deep 3-1 series hole.
While Morant will be on the Grizzlies bench, Kerr will not be on the Warriors bench.
Kerr has tested positive for COVID and will not be on the bench for Game 4 in Memphis on Monday night, and could be out for several games. Mike Brown — who was just hired as the Sacramento Kings’ head coach — will coach the Warriors in a critical playoff game.
The Warriors made the announcement less than two hours before tip-off.
Steve Kerr has tested positive for COVID-19
Mike Brown will replace him as Warriors head coach tonight. Nobody else has tested positive on the Warriors
— Dalton Johnson (@DaltonJ_Johnson) May 10, 2022
Brown is an experienced NBA head coach — eight seasons at the helm of a team, including leading a LeBron James‘ Cavaliers team to the Finals — and has spent the past six seasons as Kerr’s right-hand man. So this should not be a dramatic setback for the Warriors.
Golden State leads the series 2-1 and with a win Monday night the Warriors would head home with a chance to close out the series.