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Ja rules

We have that and more in Monday’s NBA newsletter.

Brooklyn Nets v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

There have been a number of surprises from the first week of the NBA season. One of the most heartwarming is that Ja Morant is apparently already one of the best point guards in the NBA. He is, at least, every bit as good as billed when he went No. 2 in the NBA Draft. This type of maturity is just really rare in a rookie in Week 1 of his NBA career.

Ja finished the Grizzlies’ overtime win over the Nets with 30 points and 9 assists. Seventeen of those points were in the fourth quarter, and he had the assist on the game-winner from Jae Crowder in a perfectly run play from a side-out in the backcourt.

He also got a game-saving block on Kyrie Irving at the end of regulation.

We won’t be able to watch Zion Williamson for a while longer. But Ja is here to keep our eyes popping out of their sockets. What a talent.


Friday’s scores.

Saturday’s scores.

Sunday’s scores:
Warriors 92, Thunder 120 (it wasn’t that close)
Nets 133, Grizzlies 134 (OT)
Blazers 121, Mavericks 119
Heat 109, Timberwolves 116
Hornets 101, Lakers 120


All times Eastern. Games on League Pass unless otherwise noted.

Pacers at Pistons, 7
Bulls at Knicks, 7
Sixers at Hawks, 7:30
Magic at Raptors, 7:30
Thunder at Rockets, 8
Cavaliers at Bucks, 8
Warriors at Pelicans, 8, NBA TV
Blazers at Spurs, 8:30
Jazz at Suns, 10
Nuggets at Kings, 10
Hornets at Clippers, 10:30, NBA TV


The Minnesota Timberwolves are 3-0. I wrote on Friday about how the biggest impediment to a happy career for Andrew Wiggins is hope for so much more. Then on Sunday, Wiggins had a 16-point fourth quarter in a comeback win over the Heat. Three straight threes to go from tied with three minutes left to a 9-point lead! The weather was good on Wiggins Island on Sunday and only Sunday. Karl-Anthony Towns has been ultra good early on, too.

Mike Prada on the Lakers’ lack of playmakers around LeBron.

Michael Pina explains the Clippers’ dominance in one play.

The Mavericks and Blazers had a brilliant battle on Sunday, and it ended with the first high-stakes coach’s challenge of the season.

Just a stunning win for the Suns on Saturday over those Clippers. It’s either a sign that a competent point guard and good coach will make Phoenix decent this season or an awesome footnote in a Clippers graphic when they finish 75-7 on the season.

How Trae Young’s limitless range drives the Hawks.

Beautiful: Marc Gasol got his Raptors’ championship ring inscribed with “Grit&Grind.”

David West’s new basketball league for future NBA players who want to skip the NCAA.

Fantastic Spurs giveaway.

Adidas is reportedly talking to John Wall about buying out his sneaker deal.

California is on fire again (this is getting to feel a little too normal) and LeBron got evacuated in the middle of the night.

Uh ... Brandon Ingram had a rib removed to deal with his blood clot issue?!

Be excellent to each other.