This playoffs we have already seen the rise of some players in the 1st round. But the 2nd round of the Playoffs is mostly headlined by one single player. He has been improving throughout his career and was in consideration of winning the MVP of the season. With high flying dunks to resilient offensive power, this superstar is none other than the Memphis Grizzlies’ face going by the name of Ja Morant.
The stellar regular season performance
Ever since the 2022 season started, Morant has been playing lights out. Nobody in the league was expecting him to make the leap that he made in his game. The Grizzlies were predicted to be from 5th to 10th seed in the Western Conference. But he defeated all odds and carried his team to the 2nd seed.
For the regular season, Ja Morant averaged 27.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 1.2 steals per game. It is a huge improvement from his 19.1 ppg he was posting just a season prior. The improvement was so visible that the fans were captivated by his performance.
Everyone thought that his onslaught might have been a result of just a good season performance and that he won’t be able to translate his offense into the playoffs considering the Grizzlies receive most of their scoring from transition offense.
1st round of the playoffs
The pundits were partially right as Ja Morant struggled in the 1st round. In their matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Morant put up averages of 21.5 points, 10.5 assists, 8.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. However, he did have two 30-point game in the 6 games series.
The Memphis Grizzlies successfully took care of the Timberwolves and then moved on to their next matchup which is against the Golden State Warriors. This is the series where Ja Morant is on an absolute tear.
In the 2nd round
Although the Warriors knew what they were up against considering Morant was the one to send them home in the Play-In tournament the previous year, they did not expect for him to go on such a scoring spree in the first three games itself.
Morant put up big numbers especially in Game 2 where he went off for 47 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 steals. Such monstrous numbers from a 22-year old phenom was completely unexpected by anyone in the entire league.
He is now being compared to the likes of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James considering he became the third player in NBA history to have multiple 45 point games in the playoffs before reaching the age of 23. Not only that but the structure of the entire Grizzlies roster allows Morant to have such kind of games.
Now trailing in the Western Conference Finals 1-2, Ja Morant and his group is definitely going to come up with a strategy after Morant injured his knee in game 3. We might not see him being as explosive as he was in his previous games but the fans are always up for a show and Ja is definitely going to deliver.