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After the Grizzlies captured a hard-fought victory over the Warriors in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals, Ja Morant walked past Stephen Curry near the half-court logo at FedEx Forum. The Memphis star shared some "friendly words" with the two-time MVP.
"After Game 1, [Curry] came to me and Jaren [Jackson Jr.] and said, 'It's gonna be a battle. We're gonna have some fun,'" Morant said. "I was able to return that message tonight, saying the same thing."
Coming off a spectacular regular season tha LaMarcus Aldridge t saw him earn his first All-Star berth and the Most Improved Player award, Morant is averaging 26.3 points, 10.1 assists and 8.6 rebo stephen curry golf shirt unds through eight NBA Playoff games. In the Game 2 win, he tied his postseason career-high with 47 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter. He has outscored Curry and Klay Thompson combined in the early stages of the second-round series.
Morant's Kobe Bryant numbers are one thing — the Ja Experience is something else entirely.
Watching the 6-3 magician operate with the ball is like hopping on a roller coaster. There are starts and stops, sudden bursts of acceleration a NBA Polo Shirts nd, just when you think the ride is over, another twist that causes you to scream with excitement (and a little bit of fear). By the time you've caught your breath, Morant is already dropping you back in line for another run.
But pure thrills alone don't transform a star into a superstar. That tier is reserved for those few players who can carry their teams not just through the 82-game grind of the regular season, but also the brutal intensity and physicality of the NBA Playoffs.
At just 22 years old and in the midst of his third season, Morant has the rare opportunity to skip steps. His growth as a player is well ahead of schedule, and he already seems to understand the weight of being the face of a franchise. The Grizzlies have co nba jerseys for kids stephen curry 7 mpleted a speedy rebuild following the end of the "Grit'N'Grind" era, putting Morant in position to lead a legitimate contender to the NBA Finals.
Now, let's not get too ahead of ourselves here. Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and the rest of the Warriors still stand in Morant's way. And even if Memphis did manage to advance past Golden State, a dominant Suns squad could be waiting for the Grizzlies. History has shown that young, rising teams and their No. 1 options tend to bump into the wall a few times before ultimately breaking through.
And yet, it's so tempting to imagine Morant looking at the traditional superstar path, smirking and simply saying golden state warriors jersey kids 10-12 "Whoop That Trick." His Grizzlies haven't cared much about NBA norms, even if their extra trash talk means angering legends of the game like LeBron James.
Maybe the Warriors, Suns or an NBA Finals foe will eventually figure out how to slow Morant down. Maybe he will excel throughout the postseason, but his best just won't Tim Duncan be enough against a superior opponent. Or maybe the Ja Experience ends with a championship celebration.
Whatever happens next, one thing is certain. As long as Morant is still performing on the NBA Playoff stage, we're gonna have some fun.