The NBA announced today that Ja Morant was named the Western Conference Player of the Week. Over the last seven days (the NBA went by Monday, Dec. 27th through Sunday, Jan. 2nd - I went Sunday to Sunday to get Ja a 4th game to compare to LeBron James, as opposed to just 3 games across the NBA’s time span), across four games Morant led the Grizzlies to four wins. He did this while scoring 30.5 points per game, converting an absurd 67% of his three point attempts on 4.5 attempts, and snagging 6.8 rebounds. He also dished out 5.8 assists per game and posted an excellent +15 plus/minus across those four contests. He shot 53.4% overall from the field and played 32.8 minutes per game in a week where his Grizzlies beat a title contender (the Phoenix Suns) and was the best player on the floor in a match-up with the King, LeBron James.
James’ numbers (34.5 points per game, 11 rebounds, 6.8 assists) were damn impressive, and worthy of winning this week’s award as well. But the Lakers only went 3-1 this week, and lost a head-to-head with showdown against the Grizzlies. James’ stats were partly inflated by dominating the currently hapless Portland Trail Blazers, his +8.3 was almost doubled by Morant’s +15, and LeBron himself said that Ja was “spectacular” after their most recent showdown - again, a LeBron’s Lakers loss to Ja Morant’s Grizzlies.
This is Ja Morant’s first Player of the Week award. It will not be his last. Congratulations to the young king of Memphis.