The Memphis Grizzlies duo of Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. are a great one two punch.
Jackson is current out with a left knee sprain. But before he went out the former Michigan State Spartan put up a solid 16.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per contest for Memphis.
Currently on a five game losing streak, Memphis is looking to right the ship today in a prime time game against the Los Angeles Lakers who could rest both LeBron James and Danny Green who are listed as questionable.
The key that starts the engine for Memphis is NBA Rookie of the Year Candidate, Ja Morant.
Morant is literally a human stats stuffer and is currently averaging 17.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 6.9 assists for the Grizzlies who are currently 28-31 and in eighth place in the NBA’s Western Conference standings.
Ahead of tonight’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers, I checked in with Memphis Grizzlies big man,Jonas Valanciunas. The Lithuanian big man who is curently averaging 14.5 points and 10.5 rebounds likes the flow of his Grizzlies team.
Check out our Q&A below:
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: You guys literally surprised a lot of people in the first half of the season with your play. Are you at all shocked?
Jonas Valanciunas: Well we’re trying hard, everything turned out well, in regards there are good guys on the team and now we’re going to get more new guys which is going to help us a lot. We just can’t stop and you it’s a tough one and generally we have to keep going and we gotta do our jobs.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: What are some of your personal goals stepping onto the court for the rest of the season?
Jonas Valanciunas: Be the same team or even better you know, gotta make the playoffs, we gotta make a big run…we started out not so well then we picked it up, we gotta play at the same level that we picked it up and improve in a couple areas you know, we have such a situated group in the locker room so we are improving every day. It’s been a process for us.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: It’s crazy to hear you talk about the young guys on the team and you’re fairly young yourself but you’re also a seasoned vet. I remember playing with you on NBA 2K when I was in college [laughs]…with that being said, when you look at guys like Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson who do they remind you of throughout the course of your playing career?
Jonas Valanciunas: Jaren and Ja are some great young guys. They’re working hard, their work ethic is good, they’re in here every night shooting you know, getting their skills better, getting their IQ level better, what else can you expect? They’re really getting better. I don’t know what to say [laughs]. I’ve been asked so many times about Ja [Morant] and I say he’s a phenomenal young gentleman. Which is good.