Memphis Grizzlies’ Rookie Wants to Emulate Elite Skillset of Idol Kyrie Irving

Published 12/15/2020, 9:08 AM EST
Dec 13, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) looks to make a pass in the first quarter against the Washington Wizards at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports


Kyrie Irving has been in the news for all the wrong reasons recently. His attitude towards the media has drawn a lot of criticism, but it is a pleasant change of pace to see someone else complimenting him instead. 21-year-old Memphis Grizzlies‘ Ja Morant has claimed that he wants to be as good a finisher as the Brooklyn Nets‘ star.

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In just his first season with the Grizzlies, the No. 2 overall pick exceeded all expectations. In the pre-bubble standings, he led the team to the eighth seed. Even in the bubble, he played without Jaren Jackson Jr. for most of the games, but lost to the dominant Portland Trail Blazers in the play-in tournament.

However, there are still certain areas the rookie can improve in. His defense is one of the biggest downsides to his game, and he also needs to reduce the number of turnovers.

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Still, the part of the game he needs to step up in is shooting. Morant struggles when he creates his own shots from the arc, which is where he needs some inspiration. It looks like he has found it in the man who isn’t on many people’s good books, currently.

Dec 13, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura (8) reach after being fouled by Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) in the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

No other finisher like Kyrie Irving?

Irving has a knack when it comes to finishing at the rim. His ability to handle the ball is one thing, but the way he gets buckets inside the paint is definitely the icing on the cake. He has the ability to make shots from angles that one would think is impossible, but he makes it look so easy.

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According to SB Nation’s Twitter account that covers the Grizzlies, “Ja Morant is here. He’s asked about studying Kyrie Irving and taking things from his game. Ja says Kyrie is a special and crafty player that uses a ton of moves to get the shots he wants. Morant wants to be on the same level as Irving as a finisher, not just as a dunker.”

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Irving has landed himself in the top scorers in the league. Let’s only hope that Morant picks up only these skills and not Irving’s bad relationships with the media. Let’s see how much Morant is able to absorb by studying Irving.

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Yashima Bhatia

1222 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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