With a 55-24 record, the Memphis Grizzlies are on their way to finishing with the second-best record in the Western Conference.
It would be quite an accomplishment, as practically no one expected them to do so when the season started.
This season, Ja Morant has taken his game to the next level by averaging 27.6 points and 6.7 assists per game while improving his 3-point accuracy.
The Grizzlies are one of the National Basketball Association’s most exciting teams, and they may have the league’s deadliest fast break.
With all the depth and uncertainty throughout the league, one has to wonder if they have a real shot at reaching the NBA Finals this season.
Morant Is A Superstar Now
In his first two seasons, the Murray State product was a bona fide star on the rise, but now he is becoming a full-fledged force.
He has had at least 40 points in six games this year, as well as a 52-point explosion against the San Antonio Spurs in February in which he went an amazing 22-of-30 from the field and 4-of-4 from 3-point range.
Ja Morant's highlights from tonight are straight out of a video-game!
He went off for 5️⃣2️⃣ points putting on a show for the crowd in Memphis #GrindCity
🔥 52 PTS
🔥 22-30 FGM
🔥 7 REB
🔥 4 3PM pic.twitter.com/u0Hw3jdDMS
— NBA (@NBA) March 1, 2022
It’s starting to look like Morant may be the type of player who elevates his performance in big games.
In Game 2 of the first round of last year’s playoffs against the Utah Jazz, Morant went off for 47 points.
He is proving that he is the kind of superstar who can single-handedly carry his team above the sum of its parts and help it win games against more talented opponents.
Perhaps The Most Impressive Thing About The Grizzlies
Morant has missed 23 games this season, and at first glance, one would think that it would be a major disadvantage for Memphis.
However, the team has done much better than expected whenever he has been unable to suit up.
When he missed 12 games early in the schedule, Memphis went 10-2, and that run included wins over the Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, and Philadelphia 76ers.
A few of the Grizzlies’ young role players, such as forwards Desmond Bane and Dillon Brooks and big man Jaren Jackson Jr., have emerged as reliable offensive options for Morant to rely upon for support.
More recently, when Morant went out with a knee ailment, his team went on a seven-game winning streak while he was sidelined.
This outstanding play without their superstar will only improve the confidence of their other players come playoff time.
Can Memphis Beat The Phoenix Suns?
Clearly, the top dog in the Western Conference is the Phoenix Suns, the defending conference champions who blew a 2-0 in the NBA Finals last summer to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Phoenix seems to be a team possessed and on a mission to right whatever went wrong in last year’s championship series.
Many therefore feel that the Suns are the favorites to reach the Finals again, if not to win the world title.
If, or when, Memphis ends up playing them, a big problem could be Suns center Deandre Ayton.
The Grizzlies are not an especially tall team, and their starting center Steven Adams is very strong, but he isn’t the most mobile of men.
Ayton kills teams in the pick-and-roll by rolling to the baskets for easy layups and dunks, and Adams could have issues staying with him in such situations.
Although Memphis won two of three contests against the Suns in the regular season, the conventional wisdom is that what happened in a season series does not translate to the playoffs.
i want a ring . 🏆 💍
— Ja Morant (@JaMorant) April 5, 2022
On the other hand, if a player such as Devin Booker goes into a slump at an inopportune time, and the Grizzlies’ supporting cast continues to play really well, they could find themselves with a shot at playing for this year’s NBA championship.NEXT: Ja Morant Tweeted His Next Goal To Reach