The NBA season continues after a few days off after the All-Star break. The season resumed on Thursday, and one of the teams in action was the Memphis Grizzlies.
On Thursday, the Grizzlies lost to the Sacramento Kings in a close 129-125 game. The Grizzlies had six players in double figures, including their electrifying rookie Ja Morant. Morant finished the game with 19 points, two assists and one rebound.
Morant has played well all season, and for most of the season, he has been the frontrunner for Rookie of the Year. But there may be another candidate on the rise. That candidate is none other than Zion Williamson.
Since his return from a meniscus injury, Williamson has put the league on notice. In only 10 games, Williamson averages 22.1 points and 7.5 rebounds. He scored a career-high 31 points on Feb.11, only to surpass it the next day with 32. Williamson is back, he’s healthy and is already showing his potential.
The Pelicans forward has 27 games to make a case for Rookie of the Year. If Williamson keeps playing at the level he is now; he could become a legitimate candidate. However, it may not be enough to surpass Morant.
Morant averages 17.7 points and seven assists in 49 games. He leads rookies in total points with 865 points. He has great all season and has had impressive highlights in his own right (including one of the best crossovers this season on Jerome Robinson and a missed, yet amazing dunk attempt over Kevin Love). His play has helped the Grizzlies become a potential playoff team.
This season, the Pelicans are 11th in the West. They have a record of 23-32, as they’ll likely remain towards the bottom of the conference. On the other hand, the Grizzlies are the eighth seed with a record over .500. Morant has played a significant part in the Grizzlies’ success this season and proves that the Grizzlies may be on the right track with their rebuild. In fact, both teams are. With players like Morant and Williamson, both the Grizzlies and Pelicans at least have players to build around.
The Rookie of the Year race is pretty clear, yet Williamson’s performance makes things more interesting. Williamson may receive nods, but it is safe to say that Morant is the Rookie of the Year. Now, all he has to do is finish strong.
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