The Memphis Grizzlies‘ rebuild is ahead of schedule in 2021. Prior to the season, a young team without their second-best player was expected to compete, but nothing more.
Ja Morant had other plans.
The second-year star at the point guard position did things that nobody expected him to do in his second season. For starters, he scored 44 points in the first game of the season in a Grizzlies loss, one of the highest totals in franchise history.
He carried his team to the NBA Playoffs when, with all due respect to Memphis, this roster had no business even sniffing the playoffs. Best of all, now that he has arrived in the playoffs, he has maintained his same level of play.
Actually, scratch that. Ja Morant has elevated his level of play when it matters most.
Memphis Grizzlies PG Ja Morant has been a menace in the NBA Playoffs
The young star out of Murray State hasn’t had much time to prove himself in the NBA Playoffs. On Saturday, he’ll be playing in just his fifth-ever post-season game, two of which were games in the play-in tournament.
And in every single game, Morant has stepped up as the best player on the court.
Grizzlies fans know better than anybody that Ja has had his ups and downs in 2021, especially shooting the basketball. In fact, for a large stretch of the season, Morant may have not even been considered the best player on the team. That honor would go to Jonas Valanciunas, who has had a career year.
Despite that, one thing remains certain — Ja Morant is the star of this team. Doesn’t matter what the situation is. If the game is on the line, the ball is in Morant’s hands. We saw it against Golden State when he closed out the game with multiple clutch buckets and we’ll see it in the future.
The young player has had arguably a better start than anybody in the league to his NBA Playoff career, scoring 71 points in his first two games — more than anybody else in league history.
With 47 points, the man just broke the Grizzlies’ single-game scoring record, playoff or otherwise, in his second-ever NBA Playoff game against a full-strength first-seeded team.
Grizzlies fans have to feel good about their young star and his ability to perform for this team when the team needs him. The league is in good hands.