Because you can only take so much of President Big Stuff, more of the most astute NBA analysis going.
On rookie Memphis point guard Ja Morant.
“Morant is real . . . Morant. . . is absolutely electric with the ball. When he gets a head of steam, he can finish right through bigger defenders:The league is awash in water bug point guards who get inside the foul line at will. What separates the greats is the ability to explode through traffic to the rim instead of settling for floaters. Morant has that extra gear.
Morant is shifty in tight spaces. He has a knack for changing speed and direction with an abruptness that confuses defenders. He already is smart about weaponizing his speed as an off-ball cutter.
Teams are going under picks and daring Morant to shoot 3s. He is accepting some of those invitations and is 12-of-29 from deep — great early signs.
Like almost every rookie point guard, Morant has a long way to go on defense. He has the tools and grit to grow into a plus on that end. In his third NBA game, Morant swatted Kyrie Irving’s game-winning attempt at the buzzer and talked all sorts of trash. He looks like a star in every sense.”
And what about De’Aaron Fox?
“I’m a De’Aaron Fox true believer, but Fox’s early-season defense was disappointing: He was flat-footed, upright in his stance, not as engaged as he needed to be.”
Proving no one’s perfect, Lowe shoulda used “is disappointing”, “is flat-footed”, and “he needs to be” since we’re still in the early going.
And on Laker cast off Moe Wagner:
“Wagner might. . . be the leagues’ cheeriest teammate. Basket mics constantly pick him up shouting encouragement at teammates. I would purchase a Moe Wagner Encouragement app that reinforced positive life behaviors: ‘You are killing it on the treadmill, Zach! Great job ordering salad instead of fries! You’re taking a lot of steps today, Zach! Keep it up!'”
Postscript: Richie Z, Guilford College noon ball legend, checks all of Morant’s boxes except the “all sorts of trash”. That can be learned though.