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Sport How Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant is bending the game to his will

04:15  18 january  2020
04:15  18 january  2020 Source:   sports.yahoo.com

Rookie of Year watch: Grizzlies' Clarke joins Morant in award race

  Rookie of Year watch: Grizzlies' Clarke joins Morant in award race At the start of 2020, it's an all-Memphis duo at the top of our NBA Rookie of the Year rankings.Leading Rookie of the Year candidate Ja Morant missed five games due to injury this past month, but his fellow freshmen did little to prove they belonged in the award conversation.

During the game , Morant set school records for career assists and single-season points.[44] He closed his Morant was drafted second overall during the 2019 NBA draft by the Memphis Grizzlies .[47] On July 2 Currently, Ja Morant is leading rookies in points per game with 17.8 points per game while

Rockets vs Grizzlies January 14, 2019-20 NBA Season. The Game Rookie Damian Lillard SHOCKED Kobe Bryant 2013.04.10 - EPIC Duel Highlights! De'Aaron Fox Wanna Fight Ja Morant After Teaching Him A Lesson With Shang Tsung Moves!

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  How Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant is bending the game to his will © AP Photo/Brandon Dill

1. Ja Morant is turning the game around

Presented below are two shot charts.

a screenshot of a cell phone: (Screen shot from NBA.com/stats)© Provided by Yahoo! Sports (Screen shot from NBA.com/stats)

The first one belongs to point guard Ja Morant, the spindly springboard who is going to run away with the NBA Rookie of the Year Award unless Zion Williamson emerges looking like prime LeBron James. The other one belongs to Morant’s teammate, big man Jaren Jackson Jr.

(Screen shot from NBA.com/stats)© Provided by Yahoo! Sports (Screen shot from NBA.com/stats)

Jackson Jr. scores all over the arc like a wing: coming off screens, nailing step-backs, spotting up, pick-n-rolling and pick-n-popping. But it’s Morant, eight inches shy of Jackson’s 6-foot-11 frame, who has the balance, post footwork and ball control to stay level when he’s swarmed inside the paint. The NBA’s lost post arts are making themselves new in the drives of smaller players like Morant.

Grizzlies beat George-less Clippers 140-114 for 7th road win

  Grizzlies beat George-less Clippers 140-114 for 7th road win The Memphis Grizzlies took advantage of Los Angeles star Paul George's absence to rout the Clippers 140-114 on Saturday. Jaren Jackson Jr. added 24 points, and Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks had 22 points each to help Memphis improve to 7-10 on the road with its highest scoring game of the season.BOX SCORE: GRIZZLIES 140, CLIPPERS 114WATCH: Morant clowns defenderMontrezl Harrell led the Clippers with 28 points. Kawhi Leonard and Lou Williams added 24 points each. The team appeared out of sorts from the start without George. He sat out with left hamstring tightness and Los Angeles clearly missed his defense.

After a tough two- game stretch for Memphis Grizzlies rookie sensation Ja Morant , he was able to get back to his usual awesomeness - all while reminding us Morant would connect on an incredible drive to the basket in the closing seconds of the game over three defenders giving the Grizzlies a dramatic

The Grizzlies Rebuild Begins as shown in the middle of the season with the Marc Gasol Trade and the off-season trade with Mike Conley. In Today Video, we see what Taylor Jenkins have in store for Ja Morant , using Pace and Space and using his natural abilities to help him maximize his potential.

The Grizzlies, riding a six-game winning streak, took over the eighth seed in the West behind this duo that is just the latest example of the modern NBA’s positional role reversal. Jackson is taking over six threes per game, while Morant leads the Grizzlies in attempts at the restricted area.

Morant navigates the rim with a mix of burst, instinct and touch, like the helicopter in the Helicopter Game trying to avoid crashing against the walls. He also has the burst to go through obstacles when that doesn’t work, making him more dangerous down low than your modern big man.

The boldness with which Morant uses his athletic gifts to embarrass other defenders makes him a dribbling highlight reel — reminiscent of when Blake Griffin drew curmudgeonly ire for Mozgov-ing the entire NBA in his rookie year — but Morant’s dominance is tied less to his ability to spring up and more to do with what he does when he’s on the ground. Morant rarely picks up his dribble or jump-passes into the unknown, a habit most athletic guards don’t develop and internalize for years because, prior to the NBA, they never had to.

Rookie Morant showing why Grizzlies have 'special young man'

  Rookie Morant showing why Grizzlies have 'special young man' Ja Morant has turned heads with his highlight plays, but he's impressed Grizzlies teammates and coaches most with his desire to improve.LOS ANGELES — Sometimes, Ja Morant encounters a physical defender who hopes to intimidate him. Sometimes, the Memphis Grizzlies rookie point guard meets a swarm of double teams that hopes to overwhelm him. Sometimes, Morant sees a zone defense  a coach hopes confuses him.

Memphis Grizzlies standout rookie Ja Morant has decided not to participate in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend in Chicago next month The Rookie of the Year favorite is averaging 18 points, 3.5 rebounds and 6.9 assists in 35 games this season. He leads all rookies in points and

Memphis Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant did not travel with the team to Minnesota for Sunday's game and is listed as week-to-week after experiencing aggravated back Morant first experienced back spasms against the Pacers on Monday night. The rookie is off to an impressive start to his NBA career

Morant is particular and rigorous about getting where he wants to go, and his ability to snake into the paint and stay there with a live dribble forces commitments, allowing him to leverage his calling: whipping passes all over the floor.

In the final moments of a win against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday, the Grizzlies were up three when Morant came off a pick, drove into the lane, turned his back to defender Jarrett Culver, spun toward the rim, assessed the situation, eyed Jackson, and decided he wanted more leverage. He spun again, this time away from the rim, faking a short fadeaway to attract the necessary attention to create an open three for Jackson, who was waiting for the Wolves to succumb to Morant’s proximity to the rim and bring a second defender toward him.

Morant’s control under duress allows him to bust out new moves until something gives, and it almost always does. That’s when he pounces. Good playmakers take what the defense gives them. Elite playmakers take what they want. The ball was headed to Jackson the whole time. It was just a matter of how.

Sources: Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant will not participate in Slam Dunk Contest

  Sources: Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant will not participate in Slam Dunk Contest Sources: Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant will not participate in Slam Dunk ContestMaintaining good health for the duration of the season is his main priority, sources said.

Ja Morant is one of the best NBA rookies that is dunking on everyone and is leading the Grizzlies . The Grizzlies are somehow 8th in the Western conference. Ja Morant has an extremely wiry frame for someone that able to exert so much force. Perhaps the best part of Ja Morant is his fearlessness.

The ENBA and its players' have reached a contract deal earlier that signals a historic shift in how professional female athletes are compensated. How Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant is bending the game to his will .

The NBA is still an inside-out league. We’ve just flipped who’s on the outside and who’s on the inside.

2. Chris Paul is having a moment

This offseason, the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder made a trade that brought to life a thought experiment that rules NBA debates: If you replaced one elite point guard with another, which team would be better? It turns out the Rockets and Thunder are both better with Chris Paul, and worse with Russell Westbrook.

Both guards have a habit of not letting the ball breathe enough. Westbrook enforces chaos, while Paul enforces control. Paul entered the league three years before Westbrook, but where the Rockets’ guard is starting to look old, Paul looks timeless, his wily tricks aging like a fine wine. He can still flop, jostle and manipulate angles with the best of them.

Paul punctuated the difference between the two when Westbrook returned to Oklahoma on Jan. 9 for the first time since the trade, and he’s done it by sticking to brass tacks in a league that is constantly shifting and evolving.

In his book “Sprawlball”, Kirk Goldsberry explores how the NBA’s shot-map has evolved over history. If you want to understand the proliferation of the 3-pointer and death of the postup, look no further than the fact that between 2013-14 and 2015-16, four-foot shots — that are, due to their proximity to the rim, contested — were converted at a 31-percent rate league-wide, despite being worth one less point than threes. In 2017-2018, the league shot 39.6 percent of eight-footers.

Watch: Morant’s best pass Friday wasted by missed layup

  Watch: Morant’s best pass Friday wasted by missed layup We can’t take our eyes off Ja Morant.RELATED:  Grizzlies' rapid rebuild

On top of being a two-time NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month so far this season, Memphis Grizzlies Guard Ja Morant has also been invited to Morant is non-committable at this point in the process and some might assume that the only reason that he has not already accepted his invite like

Ja Morant is selected by the Memphis Grizzlies with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft. He then joins Maria Taylor alongside his father, Tee Morant , talking about how he accomplished his goals and thanks his father for his family support and encouragement.

In-between shots have essentially been legislated out of the game, but while the mid-ranger lacks efficiency, it makes an offense more dynamic.

Paul doesn’t convert well on that dreaded four-footer, but just take a look here:

a close up of text on a white background: (Screen shot from NBA.com/stats)© Provided by Yahoo! Sports (Screen shot from NBA.com/stats)

Paul shoots at least 12-percent better than the rest of the league from the orb outside the restricted area. It’s an area that, at this juncture, opponents are least likely to defend. Regular-season defense is a matter of habit. If you usually don’t guard that shot, you won’t do it then, making Paul even more dangerous with the arsenal he has spent his career mastering: the drive and criss-cross dribble that allow him to get from one side of the paint to the other and shoot faders against off-balance big men, and unfurling floaters just short of the rotation waiting in the restricted area.

Paul just has his spots, and they’ve been the foundation of one of the best crunch-time offenses in the NBA, outscoring all opponents per 100 possessions except the Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks.

a man with a football ball: Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander plays a different game. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)© Provided by Yahoo! Sports Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander plays a different game. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

3. In appreciation of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s rebounding

Speaking of positional role reversal, on Monday in a win over the Timberwolves, 21-year-old Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander put on his best Russell Westbrook impersonation and became the youngest player in NBA history to register a 20-rebound triple-double, beating a record set in 1993 by none other than Shaquille O’Neal, who had seven inches and over 100 pounds on Gilgeous-Alexander.

The dramatic rise of Rookie of Year favorite Ja Morant

  The dramatic rise of Rookie of Year favorite Ja Morant Only 20, the point guard is the driving force for re-invigorated Grizzlies, Yardbarker's Brett Koremenos writes.

Grizzlies rookie point guard, Ja Morant smack talks James Harden after he left him unguarded from The Grizzlies , winners of six straight games , won the game 121-110. The teams were tied at 95 Meanwhile back at the ranch: Ja Morant is having a superb season in his first year in Memphis.

Grizzlies Rookie Ja Morant took a hard fall late in the second quarter of the Grizzlies 126-114 road loss to the Pacers. He landed on a cameraman's knee that was sitting on the baseline while attempting to break his fall. Morant would later return to the game after the unexpected injury, but the situation

Gilgeous-Alexander gobbles up more rebounds than anyone on the Thunder outside of center Steven Adams, and it’s important that he can. As The Ringer’s Rob Mahoney put it, “In the push toward positionless basketball, teams skewing smaller and smaller have to find their own ways to replicate what traditional power forwards and centers have been doing ably for decades.”

When Adams has to venture out to the arc to guard 3-point shooting big men, Gilgeous-Alexander gives him cover. His small but big game also gives the Thunder the versatility to employ a three-guard lineup with Chris Paul and Dennis Schroder that’s lit the league up.

The book on Gilgeous-Alexander is he’s a herky-jerky scorer, a willing but unnatural playmaker. He is selfless and smart, but he’s not made to be a quarterback. What he lacks in traditional positional strength, though, he makes up for with unconventional abilities that allow the Thunder to get creative while maintaining the foundations of their defense.

Hell, standing at 6-5 and averaging twice the amount of rebounds as he does assists, Gilgeous-Alexander may just be the prelude to a position we don’t have a name for yet.

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Celtics blow past Memphis, 119-95 .
Memphis and its exciting young star, Ja Morant, have excelled at draining the value from the top-6-protected pick the Celtics have the rights to this June. But at least the Celtics could do their part to bring home an unprotected 2021 first round selection with last night’s 119-95 win over the young Grizzlies, following up […]But at least the Celtics could do their part to bring home an unprotected 2021 first round selection with last night’s 119-95 win over the young Grizzlies, following up a 32-point win over the Lakers Monday with a 24-point roll.

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