It's time for our first 10 Things of the season -- and mercifully a Los Angeles Lakers-free edition! This one stars the league's most watchable player; a starry team off to a mediocre start; some intriguing young guys; and the end, finally, of a basketball scourge.
1. The subtle magic of Ja Morant
It's official, if it wasn't already: Morant is the league's most telegenic player, a must-watch show. The last player to inspire this particular visceral, tingling glee -- a guy you build your schedule around because you can't bear the thought of missing something you've never seen -- was the emergent, incandescent, unprecedented Stephen Curry of 2014 to 2016.
Morant's watchability applies on defense too; he has staked his claim as the new king of the chase-down block, and any Memphis Grizzlies steal might lead to some Morant-centric highlight.
The mix of force, speed, and aerial dynamism is stunning. Most point guards toss alley-oops. Morant finishes even wayward lobs, stretching, catching, and cramming one-handed. On his best chase-downs -- the ones where he squashes the ball against the glass with both hands -- he appears to still be flying upward, legs dangling below him, upon impact. You can imagine him soaring into the upper deck to admire the view and chug a beer, and then sprinting down.
Morant spins magic amid the mundane. He's 13-of-23 on 3s, and as more defenders chase him over screens -- instead of ducking under -- the breadth of his pick-and-roll game opens up. Morant has a deep bag of crafty moves, and the rare ability to shift between extremes on the speedometer:
That is an absolutely filthy left-handed in-and-out dribble followed by a one-handed lefty gather. JaVale McGee may as well not be there.
One minute later: