Memphis Grizzlies are thriving without Ja Morant

If someone said we’d be adding an eighth Wonder of the World, and that it’d be coming from this year’s NBA campaign, you’d likely have to sit and think a moment about which one of the league’s improbable happenings was added to the list.

Former No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, written off long ago by most as a low-effort, empty-calories scorer, started in the All-Star game for the Warriors. The Cavaliers, who drafted Wiggins, came into this campaign with some of the league’s lowest expectations, yet may reach the postseason without even needing a play-in game, despite having a ton of injuries. The Mavs — yes, those Mavs, who finished 19th in defense in 2020 and 20th in ’21 —play legitimately good defense these days and are going to finish this campaign as a top-10 unit on that side of the ball. The sub-.500 Celtics looked so lifeless near the end of ’21 that analysts were speculating whether it was time to break up Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, only to watch Boston go from outside the playoff picture to first in the East within three months . And despite what just about everyone believed, Daryl Morey held out long enough to trade Ben Simmons for ex-MVP James Harden at the trade deadline.

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