Much has been made of the third-year breakout of Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant. The 22-year-old made the leap from being a star-level player during is sophomore season to a bonafide superstar in 2021-22, leading the Grizzlies to a top-four seed in the Western Conference along the way. Beyond the clear effectiveness of his overall play, Morant is also a walking highlight, turning heads on a nightly basis with his patented blend of athleticism, physicality and almost reckless pursuit of the rim.
On Monday, Morant was at it again during the first half of a game against the San Antonio Spurs, putting big man Jakob Poeltl on a memorable poster late in the second quarter, as he authored a serious Dunk of the Year candidate.
JA MORANT OH MY GOODNESS 😱 pic.twitter.com/DzZlHPk5G6
— Bally Sports: Grizzlies (@GrizzOnBally) March 1, 2022
Poeltl isn’t exactly a slouch, as he is widely considered an upper-tier defender at the center position. In this clip, Morant seemingly has no regard for his presence, exploding toward the rim and finishing with authority despite Poeltl being outside the restricted area when he takes off. Morant may not be the only player in the league that could finish this dunk, but the list is not very long, and he adds this to an ever-growing array of highlight throw-downs.
For good measure, Morant showed off his perimeter skills just before the halftime break, knocking down a wild buzzer-beater to give Memphis a ten-point cushion.
For his trouble, Morant finished with 29 (!) first-half points against San Antonio, needing only 15 field goal attempts and 16 minutes to gather that lofty total. It was yet another reminder of his brilliance this season, but watching Morant dunk on a loop can be good for the soul.