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Thursday, January 20, 2022

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The Morning Story

Jaren Jackson Jr. of the Memphis Grizzlies

The NBA’s Best Supporting Cast, Best Level-Up, And More Of Our Midseason Awards

There have been 672 NBA games played so far this season, which means we’re just south of 55 percent of the way through the year. That makes this as good a time as any to check in on the annual awards races — but with a twist. 

Rather than Most Valuable Player and Coach of the Year, we’re making up our own awards and handing them out to the best and brightest from the first half(-ish) of the season.

Best Supporting Actors: Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr.

After defeating the Chicago Bulls in their annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day game and then dropping a road game against the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday night, the Memphis Grizzlies are 31-16, good for the third-best record in both the Western Conference and the NBA. Their chances of making the playoffs are greater than 99 percent, according to FiveThirtyEight’s RAPTOR-based predictions model, which has them finishing the regular season at 52-30. They sport a 3 percent chance of winning the title and have far outpaced preseason expectations.

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