Ja Morant Has Memphis Grizzlies Fighting for Playoff Spot

EVANSVILLE, IN - MARCH 09: Murray State Racers Guard Ja Morant (12) warms up for the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) Championship college basketball game between the Murray State Racers and the Belmont Bruins on March 9, 2019, at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Everybody has dreams of becoming the number one pick in the NBA draft. For Memphis Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant, that dream was almost realized but did not come true. Instead, he was drafted second and just missed the top spot. The first overall pick was Morant’s old teammate, Zion Williamson. Morant’s name exploded when he dunked over an Alabama defender last season and completely obliterated the rim.

It was the kind of career-changing play that rivaled Jadeveon Clowney‘s hit against Michigan in the 2013 Outback Bowl. Morant’s name was now known and after an impressive NCAA tournament game in which he was the eighth player to ever record a triple-double in the event. Morant now plays basketball in the NBA and is succeeding.

Ja Morant has the Memphis Grizzlies Fighting for a Playoff Spot

A Skilled Player

Morant has been able to lead underdog teams to victories since college. He has the talent and skill that can compete with the best. From the three-point line, he is shooting 39.7 percent. In the assist category, he is 12th in the league with 6.6 per game. From the field, he is shooting 48.5 percent.

Most recently in the past two games, he scored 25 points against the Minnesota Timberwolves and 22 points against the San Antonio Spurs, both of which were wins.

Morant has the ability to be efficient from the field and the ability to set up his teammates. Not only is he getting better by the game, but he is also making his teammates better. That has led to a 7-3 record in the last 10 games and the eighth seed in the standings.

He is leading all rookies in scoring as he averages 18.0 points per game. With so much success early on in his career and in the season, the Grizzlies have a bonafide upcoming leader for years to come.

Rookie of the Year

Zion Williamson has been out with an injury and is scheduled to return soon. Morant has taken advantage of this as Williamson was the original favorite to win Rookie of the Year. Morant is looking like the front runner for the award. He has the Grizzlies fighting for a playoff spot in the tough Western Conference.

What Ja Morant Projects to Be Down the Road

The Memphis Grizzlies are trying to build the team back to the year in and year out playoff contender that they used to be. Morant’s play is the start of that eventual rise. In the next couple of years, Morant will be an All-Star caliber player like many good rookies before him. Some of the recent names are Ben Simmons, Luka Doncic, Joel Embiid, and Trae Young.

Doncic averaged 21.2 points per game in his rookie year and Young averaged 19.1 points per game. Doncic and Young were some of the top scorers in the rookie class and they have ascended into the ranks of some of the best players in the league this year. That is the ceiling for Morant after the year he is having this season, as noted by the similar scoring averages.

If the Grizzlies are able to make it to the playoffs that will further Morant’s development even more. Morant is a player with a world of talent and a high ceiling and he should be a star player like many of the recent rookies before him.

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