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Ja Morant is one of the most explosive, entertaining athletes on the planet given his ridiculous ability to finish at the rim. Each time he takes flight, everyone collectively holds their breath expecting to see the unthinkable, and more often than not, the Memphis Grizzlies guard delivers.
Morant is obviously a tremendously gifted athlete, but there have been countless other 6-foot-3 guards in the NBA that have never been able to get to the rim as he can. Remember, this is a guy who became the first guard to lead the league in points in the paint in at least 25 years last season.
So, how exactly does Morant do it? How does he, night after night, manage to create some sort of highlight at the rim and earn his money from the painted area?
Tim McMahon asked him that exact question, and Morant wasted no time in giving an answer.
“Because motherf—ers can’t stay in front of me,” Morant said.
While it’s a simple answer, Morant isn’t wrong.
Very few defenders can keep up with Morant when he’s driving to the hole. Countless times per game you can see Morant get by his initial defender and when he gets among the bigs in the paint who can’t keep up with him, things usually turn out bad for the opposing team.
After averaging 27.4 points per game a season ago, Morant is averaging 27.7 points per game this year.
Teams have struggled to defend Memphis inside all season, despite the fact that they know exactly what the Grizzlies plan to do every single night: score points in the paint.
Memphis leads the league in points in the paint per game this season and led the NBA in that category in each of the last three seasons.
Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris