There has never been more talent in the NBA than there is right now. You could close your eyes and pick a League Pass game and you’ll have a good chance of seeing something that will bring you out of your seat by the end of the night. For a long time, Stephen Curry was the league’s must-see superstar. Almost every game he would pull some magic act out that you’d never seen before.
Now that guy is Ja Morant.
Morant’s nightly antics continue to test the limits of athletic possibility. Gravity-defying dunks, 360 layups in traffic, it’s baffling what this guy can do on a basketball court. He’s the most ferociously freaky NBA athlete since prime Derrick Rose, and on Monday night, en route to a career-high 52-point effort as Memphis defeated San Antonio 118-105, he dropped two more highlights that you have to see to believe.
First, with just over two minutes remaining in the first half, he caught an outlet pass just past half court, casually angled toward the rim, and then, with one foot outside the paint, decided to try and end poor Jakob Poeltl’s life with an absolute hammer of a dunk.
Seriously, check out where Morant took off from, and try to wrap your head around how impossible it should’ve been for a human being to flush this dunk.
That has a case for dunk of the year, and to think, it was merely a prologue to one of the most outrageous highlights you’ll see this season. It was just a few minutes later when Morant leaped into the air to catch a full-court pass from Steven Adams, and without coming down, all in one motion, twisting and falling out of bounds, tossed in about an 18-footer from the baseline to beat the first-half buzzer.
I don’t even know what to say about that. The combination of athleticism and power required to even get that shot to the rim, let alone make it, is extraordinary. Morant makes this stuff look effortless, even as herkky-jerkuy as he can be. but it isn’t. I mean my god. What an unbelievable basketball player and athlete this guy is.
If you’re a League Pass subscriber and you’re not checking out Grizzlies games on the regular, you’re making a mistake. If you’re not a League Pass subscriber, you may want to reconsider. Morant is worth the cost by himself. And he has the Grizzlies breathing down the Warriors’ neck to the West’s No. 2 seed.
Morant took 30 shots on Monday. He made 22 of them. His 52 points accounted for 74 percent of the Grizzlies’ entire starting five’s output. And this is after he put up 46 points in a victory over Chicago two days ago. Morant now owns the three highest single-game scoring outputs in Grizzlies history and five of the top seven.
Most points in a single game in Grizzlies history, including playoffs:@JaMorant – 52 (tonight)
Ja Morant – 47
Ja Morant – 46
Mike Miller – 45
Pau Gasol – 44
Ja Morant – 44
Ja Morant – 44 — CBS Sports (@CBSSports)
One of those 44-point games you see listed above came on the final night before the All-Star break against the Blazers. In other words, Morant has posted the Nos. 1, 3 and 5 scoring games in franchise history in the last 12 days. Honestly, there are no words that can do proper justice to the show this guy has become.
Courtesy: CBS Sports