Did Ja Morant Already Score Dunk Of The Year? Black Jesus And The Grizzlies Talk That Talk

Image Credit: Dylan Buell / Getty

Ja Morant had a ferocious dunk over the Indiana Pacers’ Jalen Smith on Saturday night in a 130-112 win for the Memphis Grizzlies. It is the leader in the clubhouse for dunk of the year, and after it Morant tweeted that you can “jump with me if you want to go viral.” It was the Grizzlies’ ninth straight win, and they continue to be the talkiest team in the NBA.

The Grizzlies are 29-13 and among the best teams in the league. They are second in aNET rating, 13th in aORTG and No. 1 in aDRTG.

During their nine-game winning streak Morant has made several highlight plays and the superstar said that this dunk was his best.

“Yeah, easy because of the difficulty,” he said. “It’s what everybody has been waiting for. I finally made it.”

The dunk had Cleveland Cavaliers star guard Donovan Mitchell wondering why Morant doesn’t sign up for the dunk contest.

It’s a thought for sure, and one that Morant has likely entertained. But in-game dunking and contest dunking are two different things. Morant seems to get up for moments in games when competition is at its highest. It’s tough to replicate that on All-Star weekend.

The Grizzlies caught some of the league and casual NBA fans by surprise last season. They shattered their over/under win total and recorded the second-best record in the league. Many thought the league would catch on and it would be tougher. But they have a better record this year than last at the same point in the season.

Led by Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane and Dillon Brooks, this team looks poised to take things a step further than last season, when they lost to the eventual champion Golden State Warriors in a tough six-game conference semifinal series.

“That very well may be the best team on the planet right now,” Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. “They’re very hard to play.”

Whether it be Morant’s “fine in the West” comments or the team’s continued trash talk win or lose, they are a breath of fresh air in the NBA.

As we sit in the twilight of the career of LeBron James and the near twilight of Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry, Morant and the young Grizzlies look like they are here to stay. Along with a host of electric players under the age of 25, including: Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum, and Zion Williamson.

Still, this coming postseason will be an important one for the Grizzlies. There will be expectations that they back all that talking up and advance to the conference finals.

The Warriors’ Draymond Green has a healthy reminder for Morant and the Grizzlies. The Dubs are four-time champs and have been to six NBA Finals in the past eight years. All roads still go through them.

“I’m not sure he can quite make his guys believe that one. Which is ‘I’m fine in the West.’ You are fine, Ja,” Green said before pausing for effect. “But the Warriors (are) in the West now, champ. So, yes, you are fine, Ja. The Grizzlies, on the other hand, that’s a topic for another day.”

It would be fitting if these teams matched up again in any round of this year’s playoffs. Of course the Grizzlies will be looking for a different outcome.