Boston Celtics 5th quarter: Let’s talk about Marcus Morris

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: Marcus Morris
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: Marcus Morris /

Marcus Morris stepped up big time in the Boston Celtics 107-96 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers Wednesday night at TD Garden.

No Al Horford, no Jayson Tatum, no problem.  The Boston Celtics recorded their 10th consecutive victory Wednesday night with a 107-96 win over Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers.  Without two key players, the team was able to pull out the victory with key contributions from Marcus Morris and Aron Baynes.

While the 21-point performance by Baynes grabbed most of the headlines, the play and importance of Morris cannot be underestimated.  The veteran forward contributed a season-high 18 points in just his third game played in a Celtics uniform.

Along with Baynes, Morris was able to help fill the void left by Horford.  His three 3-pointers helped stretch the floor when the Lakers had their big men in.  When they played small ball, Morris’ value really showed as he was able to post up and make some key shots when L.A. was surging their way back into the game.

Acquired from the Detroit Pistons in an offseason trade for Avery Bradley, Morris wasn’t a highly talked about acquisition, but with Horford out and Tatum leaving the game in the second quarter, his value as a swing forward was really magnified Wednesday night.

In fact, he has played so well, that had coach Brad Stevens, who has Morris on a 25-minute restriction, says he is forced to use Morris more than he wants to.

"“He played more today than he had played in either of the previous two games, and he’s trying to work his way up there,” Stevens said following the game.  “But it was hard to take him out because he really impacted the game…Tonight I thought he bailed us out.  When they cut it to two, he made the turnaround (jumper), and then he came right back and hit (Marcus) Smart for a 3 out of the post – bang-bang, five-point run that kind of separated the game again.”"

Due to the injuries to Horford and Tatum, Stevens will more than likely need to lean on Marcus Morris more than expected going forward.  As long as he is up to the task, the Boston Celtics head coach will use him.  With the impact he has already had on the three games he has played, it appears he is definitely ready to take on a bigger role.

What was said after the game

More from Chowder and Champions

Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball has gained a supporter.  The 2017 No. 2 overall pick heard a chorus of boos each time he touched the ball at TD Garden Wednesday night.  With an understanding that Ball is being picked on because of his dad, Morris said after the game that he is pulling for the kid.

"“I told Lonzo at the end of the game, now I’m kind of rooting him on,” Morris said, via  “Because he’s a good kid.  It’s just his dad, like, his dad has a big mouth.  I mean, everybody knows it.  It’s not a bad thing.  If I had my dad, I wish he would be like that, too.  Because it’s always, like, if anybody loves you, it’s going to be your father and he’s always going to show tough love.  So he’s pretty good.  His dad might think he’s better – which he should.”"

Ball finished the game with 9 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists.  However, he was just 4-of-15 from the field, including a couple ugly three point attempts. 

Next: Celtics win 10 straight; Baynes steps up in Horford’s absence

Next up, the Charlotte Hornets

The Boston Celtics remain home to take on, Kemba Walker, Dwight Howard and the Charlotte Hornets Friday night.  The team will look for its 11th straight win and may have to do it shorthanded depending on the status of Al Horford and Jayson Tatum.