Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant threw down the best dunk of the NBA season against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night. He broke through the Pacers’ defense, drove to the rim, jumped toward Indiana center Jalen Smith, and threw a monster jam.
“If you play in this league for a long time, you see some special things from special players. That was one of them,” Pacers point guard TJ McConnell said of the game after the game.
The dunk took place in the third quarter of last night’s battle. Morant had several highlights throughout the night, including a ridiculous block just minutes earlier. But that dunk was the group’s most impressive game.
Morant said it was his best post-game dunk due to its difficulty. “Yes, easy,” he said when asked if it was his best slam. “This is what everyone has been waiting for.”
He wasn’t sure what to do at the moment. He looked at the Grizzlies’ bench, then yelled, and finally pulled away to play defense. He said that a few possessions later, Memphis head coach Taylor Jenkins spoke to him about going back on defense.
“I just froze, I was in the moment,” Morant recalled of the moment after the dunk. With a grin, he said his shoes, the Ja 1s, helped him complete the game.
Smith tried to make a defensive play that’s always classy, even if it puts him on the wrong end of a high point. He did everything he could to stop the dunk, and he’s averaging career-high blocks per game (0.9) and block percentage (4.0%) this season.
But Morant brought him to this piece. “I mean, if he wasn’t there I probably would have dunked it a lot harder. Obviously he is her rim protector. [He] risked it,” Morant said.
“He just dipped himself on me, that was all. As a shot blocker, you’ll be dunked every now and then. That’s no surprise,” Smith noted of the play.
Smith had two more blocks that night, including one on a Ziaire Williams dunk attempt less than 100 seconds of play after Morant’s peak. He tried all night to protect the rim.
“He’s an athletic dunker, you’re going to get caught every once in a while,” Smith said of Morant.
You can listen as Ja Morant discusses the dunk below.
The Grizzlies beat the Pacers 130-112.
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