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Ja Morant Is Getting All-Star Respect, but He’s Being Grossly Overlooked in the MVP Conversation

Despite an excellent season, Ja Morant is only receiving limited All-Star consideration. This has been a recent trend in the NBA and it’s time to question if this process is even fair anymore. Or could some of these guys finally start getting their due?

The “ja morant rookie of the year” is a topic that has been brought up by many people. Ja Morant has put up great numbers on a bad team. He deserves to be in the MVP conversation.

The Memphis Grizzlies won their eighth consecutive game on Sunday night, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 127-119 on the road. Ja Morant was in the thick of things once again, putting up 16 points, seven assists, and a great +20 rating.

Morant’s performance was far from his finest, which tells a lot about the Murray State product. The electrifying point guard has gone from a promising young player to an All-Star certainty in his third season. Not only that, but he has the Grizzlies, who are 28-14, storming up the rankings.

Despite all of the buzz surrounding Ja, he is seldom included in MVP discussions. But, for all the reasons that basketball fans like Stephen Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, and others, Morant is deserving of the same praise.

Ja Morant is set to play in his first NBA All-Star Game.

Morant was in an excellent situation when the NBA published the first round of vote results for next month’s exhibition in Cleveland. After Curry and Luka Doncic, the 2019 second-overall selection received 669,033 votes, putting him in third position among Western Conference guards.

Morant’s All-Star treatment is well-deserved, to say the least.

Across the board, Ja is reaching new career highs. After averaging 17.8 and 19.1 points in the previous two seasons, the gifted guard is now averaging 24.7 points. In addition, he’s hitting career highs in rebounds and steals, as well as field-goal, 3-point, and free-throw percentages.

Since dumping 37, 28, and 40 points in the opening week of the season, Morant has looked like a franchise-changing talent. Then, after a knee injury, Ja has rapidly returned to his former glory. Since December 20, the 6-foot-3 guard has led the Grizzlies to an 8-2 record in his past 10 games, scoring 33, 36, and a season-high 41 points.

Morant is deserving of consideration for MVP.

*Per 36 minutes, Year 3 Season*

Ja Morant had 28.0 PTS, 6.5 REB, 7.4 AST, 1.6 STL, 49 FG%, 39 3P%, and 25.6 PER.

Derrick Rose had 24.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 1.0 steals, 44 field goal percentage, 33 three-point percentage, and a PER of 23.5.

Rose was the youngest MVP in NBA history. Let’s make @JaMorant an all-star starter #NBAAllStar

— Nathan Chester (@NathanChester24) January 7, 2022

MVP is usually selected in a pretty basic manner. Is this guy among the top scorers in the league? Did his basketball club have one of the greatest records in the league? It’s why Curry, who leads the Golden State Warriors to first place, is still the favorite.

Morant’s MVP argument isn’t as strong as Curry’s, according to popular wisdom. Despite his amazing 24.7 points, he is tied for 13th in the NBA with Paul George. With 6.7 assists, he’s right in the middle of the pack, with players like Jrue Holiday and Fred VanVleet. Between Trae Young and Rudy Gobert, his Player Efficiency Rating, or PER, is sixth.

Unless he has an unheard-of second half, Morant isn’t going to be able to catch up to Curry and Durant. He should, however, be included in the conversation.

The Grizzlies’ ascent coincides with Morant’s elevation after back-to-back disappointing seasons. Memphis has improved from 34-39 to 38-34 to 28-14 in three seasons with Ja. Coach Taylor Jenkins and other supporting cast members deserve credit, but the club wouldn’t be 3.5 games out of the one-seed without Morant.

There’s certainly something to be said about Ja’s ability to produce in crunch time, as he outperforms practically everyone in the league. “Clutch time,” according to NBA.com, is the last five minutes of a game decided by five points or fewer. Morant is averaging 4.8 points in such situations, which is second in the NBA behind Joel Embiid. Not only that, but he’s doing it with a 45.2 percent field-goal percentage and a 57.1 percent three-point shooting percentage.

It’s remarkable enough to take a club from the fringes of the playoffs to a legitimate contender. When you consider his clutch stats, though, you may get a rough notion of how important Morant is.

Even if it isn’t this season, Ja Morant is a future MVP candidate.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r 7xaJHXUgU

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The fact is that Morant will not win the MVP award this season. Should he be considered as a possible candidate? He can do it, but he won’t be able to beat some of the best athletes in the world.

The “Morant for MVP” bandwagon, on the other hand, is far from over.

Year after year, the 22-year-old continues to demonstrate progress. Morant, like Giannis and Nikola Jokic, will be in the similar situation by the time he’s 24 or 25 years old.

The fact that the Grizzlies are in terrific form heading ahead further enhances Morant’s eventual MVP argument. They are not just one of the best teams in the NBA this season, but they also have a youthful squad around Morant and plenty of cap room to work with. Perhaps this will lead to a trade for another talent to team up with Ja, but Memphis has a bright future anyway.

Morant hasn’t yet reached his peak, which should worry the other 29 teams a lot. And don’t be shocked if he gets a career-defining piece of hardware once that occurs.

Basketball Reference provided all statistics.

RELATED: The Grizzlies’ Arrogance Is Infused With Ja Morant and Desmond Bane: ‘They Talk the Most S*** in the League’

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