Ja Morant had a shaky start to his return from injury, and some Grizzlies fans had the audacity to ask him to sit down after they lost their first two games with Morant back on the roster. Sure, they had pulled off a great streak in his absence, but it was silly to to act like the team is better without him.
Morant, being the baller that he is, responded the criticism by going on a tear. After quietly dropping 18 points, 7 rebound and 9 assists in a 25-point victory against the Sacramento Kings, the point guard turned on the jets.
It all started with an away game against the Phoenix Suns. After Devin Booker helped the Suns come all the way back to take a lead with five seconds left, Morant got the ball, put his head down, drove to the basket and hit an incredibly difficult layup to win the game with 0.5 seconds left.
After that, he put up 41 points and 10 rebounds against the Lakers, then 30 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists against the San Antonio Spurs.
In his latest game, an away contest in Brooklyn against a Nets team that has Kevin Durant and James Harden back, Morant had another masterpiece with 36 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists. He did this in 34 minutes of play and shot 14 of 22 from the field.
His best play against the Nets saw him sky high for a fast break dunk that had even the opposing fans cheering.
Some players let the talk get to them, but it certainly looks like Morant is not one of them. That’s a great sight for Memphis Grizzlies fans. You want your best players to rise above the noise and he’s showing, just like he did during last year’s play-in tournament, that he prefers to let his game speak for him.
While he hasn’t done it alone, and has excellent teammates that are also coming into their own, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Morant is a key reason behind why the Grizzlies sit comfortably in fourth place in the Western Conference. He’s made the Grizzlies a must-watch team, because you don’t know what crazy thing he’ll pull off on the court next.