Grizzlies’ Ja Morant Must Be An All-Star This Season

Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

Marc Gasol three times, Zach Randolph twice and Paul Gasol once. Those are the only players who have been NBA All-Stars in Memphis Grizzlies’ history, but this NBA season, another name could very well be joining this exclusive list. 

Words cannot describe how good Ja Morant has been when he has taken the court this season for the Grizzlies and the young point guard continues to lead the second youngest team in the league to new heights. 

After beating the Brooklyn Nets 118-104 in Brooklyn on Monday night and then the Cleveland Cavaliers 110-106 on Friday, the Grizzlies have now won at least five consecutive games for the third time this season. Memphis has won 16 of their last 20 games and they are now 25-14 overall on the season. 

Currently the 4-seed in the Western Conference behind the likes of the Warriors, Suns and Jazz, the Memphis Grizzlies definitely look like a real threat this season because of how good Ja Morant has been. We definitely cannot give Morant all the credit for this team being as good as they have been, as Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks and others have all stepped up in bigger roles, but the 22-year-old guard has been elite. 

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Memphis Grizzlies Are Best Team Nobody Is Talking About

Since returning from a sprained knee that kept him out for about a month, Morant has averaged 27.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 1.1 steals and has shot 51.9% from the floor, 53.6% from three-point range. With 36 points against the Nets on Monday night, Ja Morant has now scored at least 30 points in four straight games and ten times overall this season, tied for the fifth most in the NBA. 

“He’s special,” second-year wing Desmond Bane said after Morant’s 36-point night. People debate whether or not he should be an All-Star, but I think we should be debating whether he’s the best point guard in the league. I don’t think it’s any question he’s an All-Star. The real conversation is, ‘Is he the best point guard in the league?’”

At the beginning of the season, HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto talked with Ja Morant about his team’s performance last season and what he hoped to achieve this season. During the interview, Morant was asked where he ranks himself amongst the rest of the league’s point guard and he stated “Top-5,” mentioning Steph Curry, Chris Paul, Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook as the others beside him. 

Not only does he have high expectations for himself, but Ja Morant just plays with a certain type of energy that is infectious to the rest of his team. When he plays well, the entire team plays well and there really is no way to slow the young guard down. 

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Memphis Grizzlies Are Best Team Nobody Is Talking About

Russell Westbrook has been unstoppable in transition his entire career because of how explosive he is, John Wall was a five-time All-Star with the Wizards because of how explosive he was in the open-court and now Ja Morant is the next big thing in terms of athleticism at the point guard position. 

Every single time he drives to the rim, Morant’s intention is to put his opponent’s on a poster and while it is concerning to see him land sometimes given the force he comes down with, Ja Morant is must-see television right now! 

“I mean he’s just controlling the game and always been an efficient player who can run the point guard spot,” former league MVP and 2x Finals MVP Kevin Durant said of Morant following his team’s defeat. “He’s developed into a major scorer, as well. He just plays with great pace out there, plays with joy and enthusiasm and you’ve seen him blossom in front of our eyes.

“Since college he’s been on this trajectory. As a basketball fan, I can’t wait to see what it’s like years going forward.”

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Memphis Grizzlies Are Best Team Nobody Is Talking About

This is extremely high praise from Durant, who is considered by many to be the best scorer in the league right now, and just goes to show the kind of respect Ja Morant is receiving across the entire NBA. 

He has very quickly put teams on notice and with his jumper and three-point shot starting to fall, it may not be long until we start asking if Ja Morant can win an MVP in the near future. 

Since being drafted 3nd overall in 2019, the Grizzlies have built a strong, sustainable team around Morant and while they would not be the elite-level team that they are right now without him, they have shown the ability to win games without home on the floor because of how deep this team is. 

Ranking 7th in the league in offensive rating and 15th in the league in defensive rating, Memphis is one of the most balanced two-way teams in the league, but all the success they find offensively starts with Ja Morant having the ball in his hands. 

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Memphis Grizzlies Are Best Team Nobody Is Talking About

Ja Morant missed 12 games early on this season with a sprained left knee, but since returning on December 20, he ranks 15th in the league in scoring, 30th in assists, and has consistently found ways to help his team win games. 

The Western Conference has a lot of talented backcourt players like Steph Curry, Luka Doncic and Damian Lillard, but it would be an absolute travesty if Ja Morant is not an All-Star this season. You can make the argument that he has missed games, but his impact on the floor for his team can only be matched by other All-Stars around this league. 

Being one of the most explosive players in the league right now and cementing himself as one of the best scorers in the paint this season as a point guard, Ja Morant deserves the recognition of being a first-time All-Star and possibly even the NBA’s Most Improved Player.

About Brett Siegel 1870 Articles
Brett Siegel joined NBA Analysis Network as an NBA Insider and Journalist in 2020 after previously working with Louisville Basketball and FanSided covering the NBA. He was a member of our staff until April 2022.