Grizzlies’ Ja Morant is ‘Dangerous,’ Says Mavs Kristaps Porzingis


Getty Ja Morant against the Miami Heat.

Memphis Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant is the front runner for the 2019-20 Rookie of the Year Award. Morant is averaging 17.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 7.0 assists per game in 46 games for the Grizzlies.

Morant has the surprising Grizzlies in the eighth seed in the Western Conference under the leadership of 35-year-old coach Taylor Jenkins. It was supposed to be a down year for them because they were rebuilding and many NBA experts had them only winning 26 games. They are at that mark right now. Morant was also supposed to have a difficult time transitioning from the college game to the NBA.

“I just feel like it’s just still, playing basketball,” he said via Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. “So there’s a lot of open space on the floor. In college, you can stand in the paint all you want, and here you can’t because of a defensive three seconds. That makes the job a lot easier because you can’t have nobody just sitting in the paint.

“One of the biggest things I learned this year is just turning the page quickly. You’ll probably have a back-to-back game or a day in between a game, so you can’t focus too much on the past. We lost our last game and turn the page quick.”

Last week against the Dallas Mavericks, he scored 21 points, 1 rebound, and 3 assists in a 121-107 win in Dallas. After the game, Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis shared his impression of the rookie.

” He is really shifty. I like his game a lot. The way he moves and his body type I enjoy watching those types of players, [who are] explosive, and he is dangerous,” said Porzingis  I think if he continues you to work on his game he is going to be dangerous no matter where he is at on the floor. So, I wish him and luck in the future.”

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Does Morant remind Porizingis of anybody, who played in the past?

“Not really! I don’t know, maybe somebody in the past, but he is very interesting, I really like watching him.”

The Grizzlies have won the 13-18 and 11-14 on the road and Morant talked about blocking out the outside noise.

“I mean we have been blocking out the outside noise and just handle our business starting in practice film, workout, weights and we are all just locked in right now. When we go out there that’s why you see our assists so high and just see that when we go out there,” said Morant.

“I think we are playing with a chip on our shoulder right now and continue proving people wrong. They told us that we were only going to win 26 games, and I think we are at the mark right now. So, keep pushing and prove people wrong and keep tallying wins.”

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