Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies has been putting the world on notice, and NBA analyst Kendrick Perkins can’t help but talk about it. Morant has played at a high level to start the season, averaging 29.3 points per game.
The Grizzlies (9-6) find themselves in sixth place in the Western Conference. The season is still early, and they have dealt with injuries. Morant, Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr. have all missed time. Jackson made his debut on Tuesday night against the New Orleans Pelicans.
“He’s the most electrifying, exciting player in today’s game. … He is culture for the league,” Perkins said.
Ja Morant’s MVP chances
Analysts around the league believe that Ja Morant has a good chance of winning the MVP. With the way he’s playing, Morant will more than likely be up there with some of the other big names at the end of the season. He finished seventh in MVP voting last season.
Morant thrives at getting to the basket. Even at his size, the 23-year-old finds ways to get to the hoop and be efficient while doing so. Morant is nearly a foot shorter than Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo but can get to the rim in similar ways as the Greek Freak.
On top of his elite ability to finish at the rim, Morant is shooting 40.3% from 3-point range, which is the best of his career, albeit in a small sample size for the career 33.4% shooter. However, if he adds that element to his game, guarding him would be even more difficult than it is now.
Perkins also believes Morant is an MVP candidate, saying the following in the early part of the season:
“When you talking about Ja Morant, listen, this shouldn’t surprise us. We should know this guy is going to be in the MVP conversation, if not winning MVPs in the near future. Right now, there’s nothing he can’t do. When you talk about being a floor general, he can do that. When you talk about scoring with the best of them, he proved that he can do that.
“The thing that I love the most about Ja Morant is his tenacity on the defensive side of things. Also, the swag that he brings to the court. When you have a guy like this, a leader, and you’re on a roll, and when you’re getting off the bus, you’re walking with a certain type of swag because you know that No. 12 is gonna bring the same dog mentality night in and night out.”
Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies look to be getting healthy and start winning more games. After improving by 18 wins to finish 56-26 and second in the West last season, there’s no reason to believe that Memphis won’t kick it up a gear when its guys are healthy.
In terms of MVP, Ja has a few guys that he has to worry about. Jayson Tatum, Giannis, Luka Doncic and others have all played well to start the season.