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Memphis’ Ja Morant bags 2022 Most Improved Player honors

Ja Morant
Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Memphis Grizzlies’ Ja Morant is the 2021-2022 Kia NBA Most Improved Player. 

From a panel of broadcasters and sportswriters, the third-year pro gained 221 points (38 first-place votes) on the award’s race, finishing at the top of his fellow finalists. Meanwhile, Dejounte Murray of the San Antonio Spurs slides in at the second spot with 183 points (20 first-place votes) and Cleveland Cavaliers’ Darius Garland goes for third, absorbing 178 points (11 first-place votes). 

Morant becomes the first player in Grizzlies history to claim the MIP honors, as he posted a dramatic leap from the previous seasons — averaging a career-high 27.4 points, 6.7 assists and 5.7 rebounds per 33.1 minutes throughout 57 games. In addition, he etched an efficiency of 49.3 percent from the field — a career-best. 

More than the improvements he had in scoring and field goal percentage, Morant saw career-high averages in minutes, rebounds, steals (1.6), free throws made (5.5), free throws attempted (7.3), three pointers made (1.5), and three-point field goal percentage (34.4) this season. 

This 2021-2022 campaign, Morant served as the face and the driving force of the Memphis Grizzlies’ shocking rise in the NBA’s upper echelon, finishing at the second spot of the Western Conference (56-26) — tying the franchise’ single season record for victories. 

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