“Giannis, Jokic, Embid, Luka, Steph, this is really hard to crack”


The 2022-23 NBA season begins in the coming weeks, and experts have already started making predictions about the various awards up for grabs. Ja Morant’s name has popped up in MVP talks, but NBA analyst Zach Lowe doesn’t think he will be a contender.

Morant was seventh in MVP voting last year, and maybe he could have been higher if he hadn’t missed 25 games. Still, the competition for the award will be fierce when the likes of Steph Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic play their best basketball.

NBA Today raised the issue of whether Morant will finish better in the MVP race than he did last season. Lowe believes he will not get as many votes this campaign, saying:

“I will doubt Ja Morant at my own peril. The putative top 5, Giannis, Jokic, Embiid, Luka, Steph, that’s really hard to crack.

“Obviously it’s going to be injuries and all that. We didn’t even mention it [Kevin] Durant, LeBron [James], Devin Booker, Jayson Tatum. So I would go for seventh or lower, and I’m sorry, yes.”

Lowe was also asked if the Grizzlies will improve on their 56-26 record from last season, to which he replied:

“Under. Your defensive backbone and second-best player Jaren Jackson Jr. starts the year injured. And the West is so loaded. I don’t know if any team is going to win 56 games, so I’m going under.”

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Yes Morant could make another leap in his NBA career this season

Ja Morant won the Most Improved Player 2022 award.
Ja Morant won the Most Improved Player 2022 award.

Since joining the NBA, Morant has steadily improved on his performances over the past year.

In his freshman season, he won Rookie of the Year honors, averaging 17.8 points and 7.3 assists. Though Morant received no individual awards in his sophomore year, he led the Grizzlies to their first playoff appearance since 2017.

They defeated the San Antonio Spurs and the Golden State Warriors in the first play-in tournament to claim eighth place in the West. Memphis then started their streak against the Utah Jazz on a good note, but lost four straight games and were eliminated from the competition.

Last season, Morant led the Grizzlies to another playoff appearance after finishing second in the regular season. Despite improving on their 2021 performance, they lost to eventual champions, the Warriors, in the conference semifinals.

To the surprise of many, Morant won the Most Improved Player award last season after averaging 27.4 points, 6.7 assists and 5.7 rebounds per game. Although no one disputed his contributions, some believed other players were more deserving of the honor.

Ja Morant in his 3 seasons: – 5/21/7 – ROTY – All-NBA – All-Star – MIP – 1st Grizzly with 25+ PPG in a season He’s only 23. https://t.co/RQKMX0weZL

Given how Morant’s career has taken an upward trajectory, the question is, “What’s next?”

The all-star guard could improve on his seventh place finish in last season’s MVP race and maybe finish in the top five this time.

The Grizzlies start their 2022-23 season on October 19 against the New York Knicks. It will be an opportunity for Morant to get aggressive and set the pace early on.

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