Open Floor: Examining Ja Morant’s historic season

On this episode, Michael and Rohan open up the mailbag to discuss Golden State’s worrisome recent stretch (and whether Draymond Green can save them) and why Steve Nash doesn’t receive as much criticism for the Nets’ struggles as other coaches that have fallen short of expectations (like the Lakers’ Frank Vogel). They then break down Ja Morant’s incredible third season. How surprising is it, really? If they could pick one player 25 and under to build a franchise around would it be Morant? And, of the most importance, will he win a championship in Memphis?

The following transcript is an excerpt from the Open Floor podcast. Listen to the full episode on podcast players everywhere or on SI.com.

Michael Pina: So I want to open up today’s show with an email from a listener named Darren, who has something to say about the Golden State Warriors. Darren writes; “Hello guys, like most people, I haven’t paid too much attention to the Warriors’ recent struggles, figuring that there isn’t much to see, because if Draymond returns healthy they will be fine, and if he doesn’t, they won’t. I caught their last few games and it has me questioning if we are glossing over flaws that we know have sunk good regular season teams in the playoffs. Number one, do they have too many weak perimeter defenders? Seeing Luka hunt Steph repeatedly wasn’t new and when Draymond is there, they have proven they can mitigate that. Seeing LeBron and even Westbrook repeatedly hunting and torching Klay was an eye-opener – it shouldn’t be unexpected after the injuries he has had, but it is a big problem. The Warriors now have to cover for two, maybe even three guys you can hunt if they’re closing with Steph, Klay and Jordan Poole. That is all a tall task even with a healthy Draymond. Number two, they play so many bad free-throw shooters who can be exploited with the Hack-a-Shaq in key spots; Looney, Draymond, JTA, Kuminga and GP2 are all bad free-throw shooters, and most concerning Andrew Wiggins is only at 63%. I feel like if another playoff contender has these issues, we’d pay more attention to it than we are with them. “

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