The NBA announced Tuesday night that Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies has been named the 2021-22 Kia NBA Most Improved Player. Morant was nominated along with Dejounte Murray from San Antonio Spurs for honour, as well as Darius Garland of the Cleveland Cavaliers. They finished in that order – Murray 2nd and Garland 3rd – with Memphis’ Jordan Poole and Desmond Bane rounding out the top 5.
It’s a well-deserved honor for a player who received his first All-Star Game start this season, and while his playing time hasn’t increased drastically (33.1 minutes per game this season from 32 .6 the last), its statistical production surely did. . Morant scored 27.4 points per game (8.3 better than the previous season) while racking up career-best shooting percentages, rebounds, steals, and free throw attempts per game. Ja finished the NBA regular season 9th in player efficiency rating (24.4), 14th in value to replacement player (3.9) and 5th in utilization (33.7%). ) by reference-basket.com.
For two consecutive weeks (January 3 and 10), Morant was named Western Conference Player of the Week. During that time, you’d be hard pressed to find a more influential National Basketball Association player than Ja Morant for his team’s victory.
Ja has helped the Grizzlies reach historic levels this season on offense, including his own individual performances like the 52-point game against the Spurs on Feb. 28. He owns Memphis in the top 10 for apparel sold and was the No. 9 jersey in the entire NBA through the latter half of last season. Morant does all the standard Grizzlies work. He’s the straw that stirs the drink both on and off the ground, and while the argument could be made, he was supposed to be just as good – or he was already pretty good last season – Ja made the leap from star to superstar in such a way that he and his Grizzlies were the good story of the entire NBA regular season.
Congratulations, Big 12. Another trophy for the collection. We feel like there’s more where that came from.