2. Indiana’s first meeting with Memphis since infamous incident
This will be Indiana’s first meeting against Memphis since their January 29 regular season game last season, in which Memphis bested Indiana 100-112 despite a 27-point outing from Bennedict Mathurin.
However, the focus was not so much on the play on the court but rather on what was happening when the ball wasn’t bouncing.
During the third quarter, the Grizzlies’ Ja Morant and former Pacer (now Sacramento King) Chris Duarte got in a bit of a scuffle. Ultimately, cooler heads prevailed, and the two were separated by teammates, and the incident didn’t seem like anything to write home about.
That is, until what happened after the game.
Following the game, reports came out that Morant’s associates aggressively confronted members of the Pacers’ traveling party and staff, and someone in Morant’s SUV even trailed a red laser on them, which was a very scary sight for all parties involved.
Morant went on to deny these allegations, and the NBA ended up not investigating the matter.
Ja Morant will not be in action tonight against Indiana due to a 25-game suspension placed on him for unrelated off-court issues.
While, thankfully, this incident didn’t lead to anything significant, it is still something Pacers and Grizzlies fans may have in the backs of their heads and is a reminder of the short but significant history between these teams.