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NBA Live Thread: Brooklyn Nets vs. Memphis Grizzlies, 7:30 PM EST

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Not the be overshadowed by the soon-to-be return of Kyrie Irving to the basketball court on Wednesday, the Brooklyn Nets will have their hands full on Monday night when they welcome in Ja Morant and the Grizzlies to the Clays.

Morant is having a fantastic season, showing that he’s among the handful of rising stars who have the ability to shape the future of the league for the next decade-plus.

Brooklyn will not have Irving in the lineup on Monday, but they will have Kevin Durant and James Harden running the show.

The Grizzlies are a young team with a ton of upside potential, looking to make a statement this season and show that they are ready to be donned as a title contender.

WHO: Brooklyn Nets (23-11) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (23-14)

WHEN: 7:30 PM EST

WHERE: NBA TV (national), YES (local), WFAN-FM (radio)

Game Preview.

Player to watch: Ja Morant

The young gawd! Morant does everything for the Grizzlies as he’s the engine that keeps everything humming. He’s shooting a career best 40 percent from three point range along with 25/6/7 per game averages. He’s lethal off the dribble and is second in the NBA in drives per game. A player like Ja that is constantly attacking and able to finish incredibly well at the rim spells trouble for all defenders and the Nets will have to work extra hard to keep him out the paint.

Over at Grizzly Bear Blues, EdMemphis wrote about the young star’s defense and said:

“Morant has really taken his defense up a few notches lately as he has been the best wing defender on the team for several games now since returning. He’s picking up in perfect timing on pick n roll, he’s not getting caught too far away from his matchup, & he’s doing a great job contesting every shot he defends.”

The league has so many great young stars, and Morant is going to be one of the faces of the NBA for a long, long time. I love it.

James Harden has looked pretty great since returning from protocols. He’s had back to back 30 point triple doubles and is looking more and more like his MVP self. If Harden continues to be assertive attacking the basket and getting to the free throw line, it will power the Nets offense and help solve some of the spacing issues presented by certain lineups. With Brooklyn a few weeks away from (hopefully) being at full strength, we’ll see how Harden’s game continues to evolve.

For more on the Grizzlies, check out Grizzly Bear Blues.