Sport Watch: Morant’s best pass Friday wasted by missed layup
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.
It’s starting to feel likedoes something we’ve never seen before every time he takes the floor. The rookie point guard has helped his team make a surprising surge into the Western Conference playoff picture, dotting every signature performance with one or two highlight plays that demand to be watched again and again.
Morant was at his best against theon Friday in a 113-109 win. Morant had so many incredible plays on the night, but his best won’t show up in the box score and isn’t even part of . Just because failed finish this beautiful dime for a bucket doesn’t mean we can ignore it.
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Ja Morant acts like he is going to jam it on Larry Nance, then proceeds to do a 180 in mid-air, and finally drops a no-look pass to JJJ— ClutchPoints NBA (@ClutchPointsNBA)
The reverse angle is required to appreciate this is in full.
Watch as Morant begins the play going for the poster dunk., and it sure looked like he was attempting to do it again. Mid-air, Morant realizes he wouldn’t be able to throw down the dunk, so he spins and hits Jackson with a behind the back pass.
This no look pass by Ja Morant is absolutely filthy.
— Tres Terrell (@TerrellTres)
The body control, the creativity, the awareness ... these are the qualities that separate an elite run-and-jump athlete from an elite basketball player. Morant qualifies as both.
Watch: Morant caps off steal with stunning reverse jam
Memphis Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant turns exceptional defense into a jaw-dropping offense with a reverse jam. JA, OH MY pic.twitter.com/vKJuffmLQw— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) January 11, 2020Just another reminder of how talented and special a player Morant is. And at the age of 20, this young star is just getting started.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about this play is that it may not have been Morant’s best sequence of the night. While Morant finished with a relatively pedestrian stat line of 16 points and eight assists, it felt like he was trying to one-up his own brilliance on every possession.
Watch as Morant goes for the alley-oop dunk on the fast break, hangs in the air and readjusts his body to throw a feed to the trailing Jackson. He slammed this one home.
LIGHTS. CAMERA. GRZ NXT GEN.
:— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz)
Oh yeah, Morant also had a nasty alley-oop transition dunk in this game, too. It’s like he was toying with the Cavs.
JA MORANT. RISE UP.— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops)
Morant is doing this every game. Remember he pulled this off against thea few days earlier?
JA MORANT x JAREN JACKSON JR... OH MY! ✨
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Phoenix entered the season with raised expectations. Now sitting on the edge of the playoff picture, should the Suns make a big move to win now?The Suns (14-22) are just a game behind San Antonio for the eighth playoff spot going into Monday after falling to Memphis (15-22) for a second straight time on Sunday night.
:— NBA (@NBA)
Best of all, Morant is having a major impact on winning. The Grizzlies have won seven straight games and are firmly in the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. They are only going to get better from here.. That’s because Morant, , and Jackson just may be the NBA’s best young core.
For now, we marvel at Morant — only 20 years old — figuring out how to dominate the NBA on the fly. There might not be a more exciting player in the league right now.
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The Spurs, Grizzlies and Pelicans have some tough decisions ahead of the trade deadline as they straddle the line between fighting for a playoff berth and selling for future assets.If the Rockets and Mavericks make moves before the trade deadline, they’ll likely look to shore up their rosters in order to make a push to secure a top-four seed in the West. However, in today’s look at Southwest trade candidates, we focus on the division’s other three teams, whose approaches to the deadline remain unclear.