Ja Morant, I’m On My Grizzly
It is not without reason to say that the Memphis Grizzlies have been the most surprising team in the NBA this season. They currently sit in second place in the Western Conference with less than 10 games left to play in the regular season. Memphis has secured home court for at minimum the first round and could keep it for a potential Western Conference Finals run if they stay in second place.
What is even more surprising is that nearly a quarter of the Grizzlies’ wins have come without their All-Star point guard Ja Morant. Memphis is 18-2 when Morant doesn’t play. This stat has dumbfounded pretty much the entire NBA landscape. The hate Ja receives is both unnecessary and comes from a place of not understanding what Memphis is building.
Put Some Respect On Their Name
I have been heavily involved in Twitter spaces this year. I don’t talk in many of them and just enjoy listening to what others have to say. A lot of people that hate on Memphis or are confused as to why the Grizzlies win without Ja Morant all give the same points that Colin Cowherd and other media members give.
Memphis is not built like traditional teams. They aren’t top-heavy. Teams competing for a championship usually have two or three superstars at the top with role players sprinkled in the mix. Sometimes those role players are really nice, other times they are just good enough to get the job done. When one or more of those core players is out, the team usually struggles. This is a common argument people use when deciding who is the MVP.
Share The Sugar, Spread The Love
Media members like Cowherd have no idea what to think about Memphis. The Grizzlies defy all logic of the past 30 years of basketball, if not more. The media does this yo-yo trick where they thrash Ja and praise him in the same sentence. That’s because they don’t have a point and don’t know what they are talking about. The media is built on hating players or trying to poke holes in how one perceives a player.
The Grizzlies are hot, Colin needs a topic about the Grizzlies, why not bring up an old conversation that Grizzlies fans aren’t even arguing about? Grizzlies spaces on Twitter are not filled with people expressing how robbed Ja is of MVP. It’s filled with reactions to the game that was just witnessed and 90% of those games Ja is the major talking point because he did something amazing that helped the Grizzlies win. It’s getting to the point now where Ja is almost taken for granted because he does produces a crazy highlight every night.
But what people do not understand is that Memphis is built different. They are deep. the 12th guy on the roster could be the sixth man on the Lakers or Nets right now. The snagged guys like Desmond Bane and Brandon Clarke late in the draft. Everyone on this team can ball and it drives people insane.
Blind Stats Can Be Misleading
If we really want to dissect the 18-2 record, then let’s do it. Who have the Grizzlies beaten in those games you might ask? Sacramento twice, Dallas without Luka, OKC (by 73), Miami without Bam Adebayo, Toronto, Philadelphia without Embiid, Houston twice, Indiana twice, Golden State without Steph, Portland, Clippers, New Orleans to name a few. The best wins came against a healthy Lakers, Nets, and Bucks squad. The majority of the games won are games that Memphis should have won, with or without Ja.
I know offensively the numbers look better when Ja is out. But does a Grizzlies team without Ja Morant make it to the second seed out west? Is anyone else making most of the game-winning shots or dropping 40 and 50 pieces in back-to-back games? If Ja was not on this team, everyone would be saying Memphis is one star away from competing. Memphis has that star in Ja.
Fans and NBA media have no idea how to process the Memphis Grizzlies so they go to their natural instinct to hate. It’s common for people to hate things they do not understand. I don’t care about the MVP race. Ja will get his when it’s ready. Besides, he doesn’t look too upset that his teammates are winning games while he recovers.
Don’t Hate, Just Watch
Ja Morant is on the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies are a good team without him, but a great team with him. Colin says he doesn’t make his team better. I think Desmond Bane would have something to say about that. When the offense has gone dry, Ja is the one that can create his own shot and get the offense jumpstarted again. He is the catalyst of this team. Without him, they have no shot at winning anything. The Grizzlies are hard to explain, but if you actually watch their games you will see what I mean. I expect them to show to the world come playoff time what it means to play Memphis basketball.
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