Trailing by a point in the final seconds last night, Ja Morant boldly took on the entire Phoenix Suns' defensive unit with a fearless drive to the bucket. Overmatched and undersized, the Memphis Grizzlies point guard refused to blink as chaos reigned around him, twisting and contorting his body in incredible fashion before tossing up a shot off the glass and through the net to secure a much-needed victory against the class of the Western Conference. It was the final two of his 33 points, amassed on 14-for-25 shooting. Memphis currently sits in the No. 4 playoff spot and by all indications capable of ushering in that bright future sooner rather than later. Young and hungry, the roster is chockfull of potential and those realizing it. No one more than Morant.
At 22 and in his third NBA season, Morant has taken tremendous strides this campaign while increasing his scoring by 4.6 points from last year. He's shooting better than he ever has from distance and from two-point range. Though still undersized in some matchups, there's a tenacity on the defensive end night after night. He doesn't shrink in the moment; he becomes stronger.
Morant has been tabbed as the future of the NBA but he may actually be the present. Time will tell, though the Western Conference doesn't have a true Goliath at this point and the Grizzlies could be one of its top teams by playoff time.
What we already know is that he's one of the more aesthetically pleasing players to put on a uniform in a long time. His penchant to operate in heavy traffic without peril is spellbinding.