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Ja Morant has been voted the NBA’s Most Improved Player for the 2021-22 season

The NBA announced today that Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant has been selected the 2021-22 Kia NBA Most Improved Player. Morant, a three-year NBA veteran, becomes the first Memphis player to receive the Kia NBA Most Improved Player Award. The yearly award, which was established in 1985-86, is given to an emerging player who has demonstrated a significant progress over the preceding season or seasons.

Morant earned 221 points from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters (38 first-place votes). Dejounte Murray of the San Antonio Spurs finished second with 183 points (20 first-place votes). Darius Garland of the Cleveland Cavaliers placed third with 178 points (11 first-place votes). Players received five points for each vote in the first place, three points for each vote in the second place, and one point for each vote in the third place.

Morant, a first-time NBA All-Star, averaged a career-high 27.4 points, 6.7 assists, and 5.7 rebounds in 33.1 minutes per game in 57 games. Additionally, he shot 49.3 percent from the field, a career high. Morant, 22, joins NBA 75th Anniversary Team members Oscar Robertson and Dwyane Wade as the third player in NBA history to achieve his 2021-22 marks in points, assists, rebounds, and field goal % in his first three seasons.

Morant recorded career highs in minutes, rebounds, steals (1.16), free throws made (5.5), free throws attempted (7.3), and three-pointers made, in addition to an 8.3-point increase in scoring and a 4.3-percent rise in field goal percentage from the 2020-21 season (1.5). Additionally, he established a new career best in three-point field goal percentage (34.4).

This season, he earned a starting place in the NBA All-Star Game in 2022. Morant was also selected NBA Western Conference Player of the Week twice in a row (January 3 and 10), the first time in his career. He became the first Grizzlies player to win the honor in consecutive weeks.

 

 

Written by Eren Kilic

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