Ja Morant knew questions about his comments about the Western Conference were coming after a shorthanded Celtics team handled the Grizzlies with relative ease at TD Garden on Sunday.
In an interview with ESPN’s Malika Andrews in December, the Grizzlies star said the only team he felt he had to watch out for was the Celtics.
“No one in the West?” Andrews asked.
“Nah, I’m fine in the West,” Morant responded.
Does Morant still feel comfortable after a wild trade deadline that resulted in Kevin Durant joining the Suns and Kyrie Irving being dealt to the Mavericks?
“I don’t care. Honestly. I said what I said, and I mean that,” Morant said on Sunday. “The confidence I had when I said that is the confidence that got us to the point we’re at now, being a top team in this league.”
Morant stuck by his comments even after the Grizzlies lost, 119-109.
The Grizzlies have dropped nine of their last twelve. Sunday’s loss was to a Boston team without Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and Malcolm Brogdon.
Memphis is in second place in the West, but Dallas and Phoenix are creeping up. Denver is 4.5 games in front of Memphis to lead the conference.
Morant said none of that changes his mindset.
“Yeah, my confidence will never change,” he said Sunday. “I don’t care who got something to say about it.”
Morant led all scorers with 25 points Sunday. Jayson Tatum had an ice-cold shooting night, going 3-for-16 from the field and 1-8 from three. Sam Hauser played 31 minutes and scored 20 points. Derrick White was Boston’s leading scorer with 23 points.
This is a Celtics team operating far from it’s full strength, and beat Memphis by double-digits.
“I feel like them being balanced and them having two guys who lead them on the offensive ends,” Morant said, “then you have two terrific defensive players as well with Smart and Robert Williams.
“Obviously you can’t discredit [Jaylen Brown] with him playing on both sides of the ball and you’ve got everybody else coming out and playing a type of way. Pretty tough team. Well balanced. Good guys.”