The REAL Reason Why Ja Morant Is SO Good In The NBA (Ft. Dunks, Playmaking, & Unique Potential)
Ja Morant is one of the best NBA rookies that is dunking on everyone and is leading the Grizzlies. But what makes Ja Morant so good? #NBA #jamorant #dunked
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Ja Morant has done a lot in just a few months. He’s broken ankles and gotten the respect of Lou Will. He’s been on a personal dunking revenge tour without even getting dunked on. And most importantly, he’s having fun. But Ja’s also putting up 17.8 points and 6.9 assists on 48% from the field and 39% from 3. Yeah, so I thought it was time to look at Ja Morant and figure out why he’s been so good.
To show how special Ja has been a rookie, here’s a graph from the Athletic on rookie scoring usage vs efficiency, the more upper right you are, the better and there’s Ja who is on par with players like Kyrie’s rookie year. The Grizzlies are somehow 8th in the Western conference. Ja Morant has an extremely wiry frame for someone that able to exert so much force. Morant is 6’ 3”, but only 174 pounds. Even for a rookie, that’s skinny. He’s actually the 5th lightest player in the NBA by listed weight right now. But no one’s really able to push Morant off his spots. Sure defenders might cut him off when he’s trying to drive, but to physically run him off, that doesn’t happen. It’s unusual to say the least, but it can be explained by how low Morant stays while driving. The lower you can stay, the lower your center of gravity is and the more balanced you are. And with a 42 inch vertical, he is a freak.
This was a scouting report of Ja Morant before he was drafted and it’s something that seems simple, but is truly unique. Ja possesses athleticism that is off the charts for a guard. It is not of the same level as Derrick Rose or Russell Westbrook, but it is definitely comparable. But the synchronization of his change of pace with his body and change of pace in his handles is crazy. Like on this dunk on Aaron Baynes, Ja Morant goes from a 0 to 100 real quick foot speed wise, but that crossover is wide yet quick enough to match his pace. It’s like what Westbrook does in the fastbreak at times. At the same time, Morant will also slow down his dribble, like to let ball hang in the air. Sometimes he’ll explode off that, other times he’ll keep surveying the floor. He’s like a weird hybrid of Harden and Westbrook. He has that explosiveness, but he’s not relying on it. He can be slithery, methodical while driving to the paint, but he’ll threaten with his speed.
At 6.9 assists, he is certainly making plays Morant can make pretty much every pass imaginable. He’s a flashy passer, he will rifle passes, but most importantly, he’s also a creator. He attacks the rim and creates a lot of opportunities, but he’s also able to see the openings before they happen. We already know that Morant can jump and hang with the best of em in the NBA, but the layup package is creative. One of the best parts of his finishing is that he can use either hand. He’ll go up strong through contact and finish it. He has a nice floater game that works especially when he’s slithering through the paint without much space to take off.
Ja’s 9th in the league in drives per game. Morant wants as many defenders as possible to pay mind to him because it’s just that many more of his teammates that can get open. This makes it that much easier for him to get a pass off to his teammates. Remember that patience I was talking about. He’s always keeping his head up while dribbling and so sometimes he will hold on to the ball while putting some pressure, to see create new openings and also to reshift the defense.
And then there’s his 3 point shooting which is way further along than what was supposed to be. He’s shooting 39% from 3. He’s already using that to threaten a shot because he’s shooting is with confidence.
Perhaps the best part of Ja Morant is his fearlessness. He’s taking over games in the clutch, he doesn’t care who is in the paint, who is in front of him, the moment. He’s just trying to make a play in whatever way he can. That attitude not only lets him play the way he plays, but it also inspires his teammates to just go for it. The Grizzlies are actually the 8th seed in the West. That is crazy, but when you look at Morant and what he’s doing, it starts to make sense. Watching Ja Morant play is exciting, he really is a showstopper and capable of making highlights every night, but there’s more to his game than just the posters and razzling handles. It’s quite a unique combination of athleticism and playmaking mixed in with no regard for human life. So yeah Ja Morant is really good, but what do you think? Will Ja win rookie of the year? Will he eventually become an All-Star?