Ja Morant with another “Ja-dropping” performance. He keeps having games like this, where he puts up a lot of stats (which is cool but anyone can do that) but also has a large amount of genuinely impressive plays (which is cooler and isn’t something everyone can do). Other rookies may have single games like this, Tyler Herro just had one, Eric Paschall had one, maybe Rui Hachimura if you’re being generous. But Morant has these kind of games regularly.
That’s why he’s ROTY Of The Year for me right now. Sadly, I don’t get a vote, and if you’ll indulge me for a bit, that’s total BS. Have you seen the credentials of some of the people who get to vote for those awards? It’s insane. Just because you work for a media outlet that sometimes covers the NBA doesn’t mean you get to vote for real NBA awards. Some of these people don’t even watch the games, you can tell by the baffling votes they cast. And here I am, slaving away for hours on end, showcasing the best role-players the NBA has to offer, constantly analyzing and dissecting the league, and I can’t even get a response from Adam Silver to all my angry e-mails? It’s BS, man.
Anyway, in this case, it probably doesn’t matter that I (or you, probably) don’t get a vote, because Morant’s probably going to win the award easily unless Zion Williamson comes back (doubtful) and starts dominating really hard (even more doubtful). Honestly, I don’t even need Williamson, I’ve totally forgotten him. The currently playing class of rookies, even if most of them suck, is enough to keep me happy. Especially Morant. He’s awesome.
And when we look back in 20 years at his Hall-Of-Fame career, we can look at this 26-point, 7-assist game and think “wow he really took it to Stephen Curry and the Warriors dynasty, you knew he was going to be special after that” and no one even has to remember that all he did was dominate a team full of scrubs.