Ja Morant is undeniably a top 10 player in the NBA now and talent-wise could well be in the top five.
In addition to that, his style of play might be the most watchable in a league of ridiculously talented players.
His ability as a point guard to cannonball towards the rim is unparalleled and he accompanies that with the ability to dish crazily audacious passes and shoot skilfully from deep as well.
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He had a new regular-season career-high (he scored 47 in a playoff loss to Utah last season) and franchise-record 46 points in the Memphis Grizzlies’ 116-110 win over the Chicago Bulls and he showcased his entire repertoire of dazzling skills.
The newly minted All-Star’s signature night included a plethora of his gravity-defying assaults on the rim – including a 360-degree layup around MVP candidate DeMar DeRozan – and a one-handed alley-oop slam that set the Bulls crowd buzzing.
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Ja Morant does a 360 spin layup for the Memphis Grizzlies against the Chicago Bulls in the NBA
“I’ve seen too many of them. Kinda boring now,” team-mate Steven Adams said in jest. “He’s such an amazing player.”
The former No 2 overall pick scored 16 in the first half and 20 in the third quarter. He made 15 of 28 shots, including three 3-pointers, and was 13 for 15 at the foul line.
Inspired by Jordan?
Memphis’ All-Star put on quite a display for the Chicago crowd and might have gotten little extra lift seeing highlights of Michael Jordan on the video board.
“I did watch it,” he said. “And then, I did start scoring a lot. It probably played a part in it.”
Morant’s superstar season is sending waves through the league, shooting Memphis up the standings and shattering franchise records – and Saturday night’s display against a very good Chicago Bulls team did all three of those things.
The win over the Bulls, who entered the night tied with Miami for first place in the Eastern Conference and on a six-game winning streak, keeps the Grizzlies (42-20) within striking distance of second-place Golden State (43-17) with 20 games remaining in the regular season.
Morant and the Grizzlies are eyeing a deeper plunge into the postseason after emerging from last year’s inaugural Play-In Tournament and losing to the top-seeded Jazz 4-1 in the first round.
And with arguably the league’s most watchable player at the hub of it all, the Grizzlies may well have the ability to surprise everyone.
Other top Morant plays this season:
Ja Morant put the NBA All-Star Dunk Contest to shame with this incredible in-game reverse slam dunk off the alley-oop assist from Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young
Ja Morant with the behind-the-back assist to Ziaire Williams who throws down a thunderous dunk against thePhiladelphia 76ers
Ja Morant sends the crowd wild with this huge slam over Robin Lopez against the Orlando Magic!
Memphis Grizzlies’ Ja Morant won Play of the Day for this insane driving run and set-up against the San Antonio Spurs
Ja Morant’s massive alley-oop slam here in the first week of the new season saw him already have a contender for dunk of the year!
Ja Morant produced this two-handed block for the Memphis Grizzlies against the Los Angeles Lakers