Nowadays it feels like we as fans are very quick to label something a "poster dunk". Unfortunately, not all posters are created equal, and the way I've always looked at these plays is you know it when you see it. For something to be a true poster, there shouldn't be any doubt about it. I generally try and use these guidelines
1. Was it an actual clean dunk or did the player throw the ball in a la Blake Griffin?
2. Did the player dunk through or over someone
3. Did I find myself saying "holy shit" the second it happened
I bring this up of course because of what took place in Memphis last night
First of all, can we talk about that explosion by Ja once he gets the switch onto Wemby around the block? The cross to his left into an immediate dunk like that all happening in a blink of an eye is some alien shit. That's partly what makes Ja who he is and why it sucked that he was suspended for long. Plays like that are special. I mean he was gone before Wemby even knew what hit him. Elite move.
Now let's move on to the actual dunk. Wemby does try and contest, but would you consider this a poster? I'm not sure I would. If I go by the criteria listed above, I really only see 2 of the 3 boxes being checked. I don't really consider this dunking through/over Wemby considering he was sort of already behind Ja/on his hip when he elevated to the rim. It was a contested dunk, but not one of those holy shit Ja Morant just ended this dude's life type of dunks.
Obviously, everyone went nuts on a play like this, mostly because we haven't seen too many players actually put Wemby on a poster yet, and this is arguably the closest we've gotten. Maybe you consider AD's dunk one (I don't)
but if you had to pick a player who would finally pull something like this off over Wemby, Ja is certainly high on that list.
What I found awesome about this play is that while the entire basketball world freaked out a little bit, talking about how Ja put Wemby on a poster etc, it was his Dad that kept it real
That's what I call good parenting. A hard layup is the perfect way to describe that play. Still awesome, but not a true poster or Ja truly dunking on a guy. Remember, when it comes to Ja and these types of plays his standard is pretty high. This man knows a thing or two about catching bodies
I found that press conference clip to be extremely relatable. Not in a sense that as a basketball player I ever came close to doing something like that play, but the idea that even when I did do something awesome on the court, I could always rely on Papa Greenie to bring me back down to earth. I feel like most of us who ever played a sport can relate to that. You're feeling yourself, everyone's giving you props, and then there comes your inner circle to tell it like it is and keep you grounded. It wouldn't surprise me if Ja's Dad barely reacted to that play because he knows what his son is truly capable of. No need to baby him and talk about how that play is some great poster dunk when Ja's resume is littered with better, actual posters. I respect that.
Also, don't look now but the Grizzlies are now 4-2 in games Ja has played since coming back. They still have some work to do, but as of today sit just 5.5 games back of the 10th seed in the West. With the Lakers reeling (10th) and the Rockets still rather unproven (9th), it's not crazy to think a healthy Memphis team can make things interesting. At the very least, they're someone who could definitely play a spoiler role once we get to the Spring, but I wouldn't rule out the Play In just yet. Crazier things have happened.
If you figure 42-40 gets you in (NO last year in 10th), that means the Grizzlies need to finish 31-18, or a .650 winning percentage from here on out. Basically, the pace they've been on when Ja plays this season (.666). They have about a middle of the pack remaining strength of schedule (14th) so it's not out of the realm of possibility, but it's certainly not going to be easy. Remember, they still have 2 games against MIN/MIL/OKC/DEN, and then another matchup with BOS. That's nearly 20% of their remaining schedule.
Either way, it's just great to have Ja back on the floor, where he continues to be must watch stuff every time he laces them up. I think some may have forgotten just how ridiculous he is over his 25 game suspension, and a play like this against Wemby was a nice little reminder.