New Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris has yet to play an actual game for his new team, but knows he will be an asset at the power forward position.
Morris, who was acquired in an offseason deal that sent Avery Bradley to the Detroit Pistons, has yet to play in a preseason game. While the majority of that was due to him missing the early part of camp due to his assault trial, conditioning is playing a role in his delayed availability as he is not expected to play Monday against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Still, the Celtics forward is excited about his possible role on the team and knows he has to be patient as of now. But, when he is ready to get on the court with his new teammates, he is pretty confident it will be a smooth transition.
"“I feel like it’s going to be really easy,” Morris said after practice Sunday, via MassLive.com. “I don’t think I can name two or three 4-men that can really do anything with me on the floor, you know what I mean? They might be a little bigger so I’m just trying to keep my strength and be a great rebounder. But on the offensive side it will be too easy.”"
Morris scored 14.0 points per game last season with the Pistons. His insertion into the Boston Celtics lineup will push Al Horford to the center position. With those two on the court at the same time, opposing big men will have a tough time defending Morris and Horford as they both have the range to bring defenders from underneath the hoop.
Although he hasn’t played much of the power forward position, Brad Stevens is using him as such, which should create mismatches on the offensive side of the ball.
"“I’ve been playing mostly the 4, something new to me,” he said. “Brad is a great coach so he’s putting me in positions where I have a mismatch.”"
The Boston bully
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While Marcus Morris expects the offense to be a smooth transition, he also believes he’ll provide toughness to the team on the defensive end. The 6-foot-9 forwards wants to establish himself as the team protector.
"“Competing against these guys over the years, I think they know what I can do,” Morris said following his first practice with the team. “I know what they can do. I think it’ll be really easy for me to fit in. I gotta be the tough guy on the team. I gotta be the protector. Guys, you know, knocking my guys down, I can’t have that. You know what I’m saying? It’s going to be my role to be the bully. And I accept that.”"
Morris gave indication that technical fouls may be a part of his game this season. As long as they don’t hurt the team, I guess the Celtics and fans should welcome the physical style Morris promises to instill on the team.
If it’s enough to get under the skin of LeBron James, it actually will be much welcomed.