Ja Morant is playing at an MVP level to kick off the 2022-2023 Season, and he showcased his impressive memory and basketball IQ last night.
The Memphis Grizzlies grabbed a big time 134-124 win over the Brooklyn Nets Monday night. There were quite a few storylines that came out of this one, including Ja and Desmond Bane dropping 38 apiece to hold off Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, who each put up 37 in a loss.
However, there was one particular highlight that was making it’s rounds on social media after the game. It was the play that led to Ben Simmons fouling out of the contest. The play occurred with under four minutes remaining in the contest, with Morant baiting Simmons into fouling out.
As you can see, the Grizzlies inbounded the ball with a slow roll and Morant waited patiently to pick it up after it crossed the half-court line. He then looks to Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins for a play call, which causes Simmons to grow impatient and attempt to grab an easy steal. While lunging towards Morant, Simmons picked up his sixth foul of the game, fouling him out for the second time in three games to start the season.
After the game, Morant was asked about the play and offered up some interesting insight.
Ja Morant opens up on getting Ben Simmons to foul out
Talk about an impressive display of memory and basketball IQ from the Grizzlies superstar. It would be one thing if the prior play happened in a matchup from a few weeks ago, but to remember a player’s tendency in that situation from something that happened over three years ago is insanely impressive.
Morant is off to a blistering start to begin the season, averaging 35.3 points per game with 7.0 assists and 4.3 rebound. It will be interesting to see if he can keep up the MVP level pace throughout the season.