“Ja Morant is that dude” – Former NBA champion believes Memphis Grizzlies can emerge as title contenders


Former NBA player Richard Jefferson praises Ja Morant ahead of maiden All-Star appearance

Former New Jersey Nets star Richard Jefferson believes Ja Morant can guide the Memphis Grizzlies into title contention this season.

Morant has been the shining star for the Grizzlies this season and has earned an All-Star callup for his performances. The Grizzlies have a 36-18 record this season and are at the 3rd spot in the Western Conference. A significant factor has been Morant’s consistent and energetic performances.

Memphis United States, 10/05/2022.- Memphis Grizzlies Ja Morant brings the ball up the court in the first half of their NBA, Basketball Herren, USA game at FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee, USA, 10 May 2021.

The youngster has received praise from some of the former legends including Jefferson, who said: 

“Ja Morant is that dude. He is their leader, But make no mistake, this team won a ton of games when he was out. That’s not a knock on Ja Morant, that just shows that this organization is run right, that this group around him competes at an extremely high level. When you add him, that’s when you start getting what he’s talking about, a contender.” (h/t NewFitness )

Morant has scored 30+ points in his last 7 games and helped the Grizzlies to 16-4 in their last 20 games. The 22-year old was drafted in 2019 as the No.2 pick. Since then, he hasn’t looked back and is already looking like he is meant for the big stage.

Will the Grizzlies make a deep run?

The Grizzlies have never won a Conference Finals, coming close in the 2012/13 season. Despite a good lineup, the team should look to keep their best players fit. Also, coach Taylor Jenkins will be wary of load management, considering the last 30 games will determine their opponents in the NBA Playoffs.

Jenkins will also hope that the combination of Steven Adams and Dillon Brooks will come up with impressive performances in the final run of the regular season. However, Morant will go into the All-Star game full of confidence and zeal. Morant has played 3 seasons for the Grizzlies. He has averaged 20.1 points, 7.3 assists and 4.4 rebounds in 168 regular-season games. Moreover, in his debut season, Morant led all rookies in assists with an average of 7.1 assists per game, as well as total points scored, with 1,138.

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