Pregame Post-Ups: C's Benefitting from Morris' 'New-Age' Style
Saturday, March 3 - Celtics at Rockets
Pregame – C's Benefitting from Morris' 'New-Age' Style
HOUSTON - Marcus Morris is a matchup nightmare for most teams. That's certainly how the Boston Celtics felt over the past several seasons whenever they had to face off against the versatile, 6-foot-9 forward.
The best way to get rid of that problem was to trade for Morris, which is what the Celtics did this past summer when they acquired him in exchange for Avery Bradley.
"We thought he was a really good offensive player," C's coach Brad Stevens said Saturday evening before tipping off against the Houston Rockets, the team that drafted Morris in 2011. "He was a guy that we struggled to match up with because he was playing the 3, with Tobias (Harris) at the 4 in Detroit. So, it was always like: Who are you going to put your 3 on. Who are you going to put your 4 on? If you put your 4 on Morris, especially in a traditional lineup, he'll spread you. And then he'll post smaller guys. He's kind of that new-age guy that can do a little bit of everything."
Those skills should come in handy tonight when the C's face one of the deepest teams in the league at Toyota Center. Houston has seven players that are averaging double figures in scoring, not including newly-added veteran Joe Johnson who is capable of erupting offensively on any given night.
On all occasions, but especially tonight, Stevens says the C's need Morris to "be a guy that can be a scorer on the block against a smaller guy. To be a guy that can be a scorer in the seams or popping against a bigger guy. I think he's been really good in his role from a scoring standpoint, especially since (All-Star) break.
On the other end of the floor, Stevens added that they need Morris "to be able to defend whether we're in our typical big coverages or whether we're switching all over the place. Versatility has got to be the thing that he brings to the table on defense."
Morris has had a very successful season for the Celtics, despite facing a nagging knee injury that sidelined him numerous times during the first two months of the season. He has been a consistent scorer ever since his minutes restriction was lifted in mid-January and has reached double figures in scoring during 16 of his last 18 games.
Morris' consistency must continue tonight, because the Celtics will need as many two-way threats on the floor as possible when they look to take down the top team in the NBA.
- Taylor Snow