Murray State point guard Ja Morant can use March Madness to give the Cleveland Cavaliers some tough decisions to make if they don’t win the Zion lottery.
Zion, Zion, Zion. Zion Williamson‘s name has been well known to fans of the Cleveland Cavaliers ever since it became abundantly clear about four games into the season that the current campaign would be all about the future.
Williamson’s lived up to the hype and even survived his Nike sneaker exploding during a game with President Obama in attendance. The freshman surprised everyone by returning from the minor injury he suffered from the shoe’s defect and looks set on leading Duke to the Final Four.
If the Cavs somehow win the No. 1 pick, general manager Koby Altman will be confronted with a no brainer. Z-I-O-N.
But what if the Cavs don’t win that first pick. Remember, the NBA changed the way it will operate the lottery. The three worst teams now have the same odds of drawing the first pick when the ping pong balls pop.
Murray State guard Ja Morant is doing his best to make it hard for whomever picks after Zion is off the board.
Morant posted the NCAA tournament’s first triple double since 2012 when he scored 17 points, dropped 16 dimes and grabbed 11 rounds en route to No. 12 Murray State’s upset over No. 5 Marquette. Draymond Green is the last player to do it and there have only been eight triple-doubles in the tourney’s long history!
The 6-foot-3 Morant averaged 24.4 points and 10.3 assists per night while shooting 50 percent from the field. His athleticism is instantly recognizable, as his ability to get to the rim whenever he wants. Long-range shooting remains a concern though, as he was just a 34 percent shooter from beyond the arc.
He should be must-see TV for each and every Cavs’ fan the rest of the tournament because the farther he gets, the brighter his star will shine.
Morant’s leaderships should also be carefully watched because elevating a Murray State to go far into the tourney is no easy task. Don’t just look at how Morant is playing, but what about the others around him? The fact he dropped 16 assists in his first tourney game provides a good answer.
• Morant’s a point guard and the Cavs just took one of those last year in Collin Sexton. After a rocky start, Sexton’s really stabilized and his stock is trending upward. With that said, if the Cavs view Morant as a superstar, they won’t pass him up at No. 2.
Sexton is nowhere near the distributor Morant is and the idea of putting Morant in the same backcourt as Sexton shouldn’t be ruled out…only if Zion is off the board, of course.
•Speaking of the Cavs in the lottery, Cleveland is just 1.5 games worse than the Chicago Bulls with nine games left to play.