If there’s one player that’s been playing winning basketball right now, it’s Ja Morant. Morant has been averaging a career high 24.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 6.7 assists. The best part is that his supporting cast is so much better this season as well. Morant has not only changed the culture in Memphis since he was drafted but he’s also put them on his back and now has them in the third seed of the Western Conference (29-14).
Now that the MVP conversation is ramping up, voters should look at what Morant has done this season. He’s only 22 and 154 days old but he’s already the youngest player in NBA history to average at least 25 points per game during his team’s 10 game winning streak.
Ja Morant this season
• 25.1 PPG
• 48.9 FG%
• 40.0 3P%
• 53.4 eFG%
• 6.7 APG
• 5.7 RPG
— Grizzlies Analytics (@GrizzAnalytics) January 6, 2022
Yes, Memphis is on a 10 game winning streak and they’ve beaten the Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers, Cleveland Cavaliers during this stretch. It’s time to put Morant on the MVP conversation. Here are six other reasons how else Morant can get the MVP recognition in the second half of the season:
Ja Morant NBA MVP
Continue to help lead Memphis in the statistics category
Since Thanksgiving, the Grizzlies rank number one in net rating, defensive rating, win percentage, rebounds, steals and blocks. It’s a testament to how hard they play every night and why dominating on both sides of the floor has helped them solidify their place in the standings. Because of how well they play on both sides of the floor, the Grizzlies have now won 20 of its last 24 games.
The @memgrizz limited the Pistons to 34.3% shooting tonight.
Since Nov. 28, no NBA team is holding its opponent to a lower field goal percentage than the Grizzlies (42.2%). pic.twitter.com/8CGFHzbIL2
— Grizzlies PR (@GrizzliesPR) January 7, 2022
Just watch how they play: they win most of those 50-50 rebounds and manage to push the pace all the time. This is all led by Morant, who always finds a way to impact the game both on offense and defense — exactly what an MVP in this league does.
At least help Memphis finish top four in the standings
For Ja Morant to win this season’s MVP, he has to help this Memphis team finish at least top four in the Western Conference standings. Given how the Grizzlies are playing right now, it’s very much possible. Memphis has proven that they can beat the top teams in both conferences. They’re the only team to defeat the Golden State Warriors twice this season.
If they continue to go on the pace they are now, Morant should be in the conversation for MVP. Not only is he putting up stats but he’s doing it by playing winning basketball.
Keep winning the Western Conference player of the week award
Morant was recently awarded the Western Conference player of the week after helping the team go 5-0. This was his second consecutive Western Conference player of the week award and he can continue to win multiple ones in the following weeks if Memphis builds on their winning streak. This will go a long way for his MVP case.
— Grizzlies PR (@GrizzliesPR) January 10, 2022
Continue to ball on national television
Ja Morant has been playing fantastic in the majority of his games especially on national television. He’s been the best player on the floor when the Grizzlies go up against the Warriors, Nets, Suns or even the Lakers that have multiple Hall-of-Famers on the court. Morant always gets to embrace the spotlight and manages to consistently put up efficient numbers while he’s at it. This is how he gets the attention of the media and frankly the voters who he needs to get on his side in order to win the award.
"I'M HIM!" 🗣@JaMorant had to remind everybody after his dagger
(via jackhaydencook/IG) pic.twitter.com/DGdTXxifSd
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 12, 2022
Play all remaining games
One important factor of winning the MVP award is games played. If Morant can avoid an injury and play the remaining games for Memphis while leading them to victory then that’s another case he can present. He’s missed 12 games so far but the good news is he has more games to play. All he needs to do is end the season with a winning record, put up good stats and play more than half of his remaining games.
Continue his leadership
Morant’s leadership is really whats sets him apart with Zion Williamson, the number one pick in the 2019 draft class. It’s the reason why he was able to bring the Grizzlies back to the top and how he changed the culture of his team. This has already been noticed by analyst, fans and so many people around the league. All he has to do now is continue it because this has helped the Grizzlies play winning basketball. When a player devotes everything they have to do the game there’s a good chance the basketball Gods reward them. Hopefully for Ja Morant, it’ll be the NBA MVP he deserves so far this season.