With the Boston Celtics entering the playoffs without their top two stars, Marcus Morris will have to step up in a big way for the team to advance.
Although necessary to make room for the Gordon Hayward signing, the deal wasn’t overly popular as Bradley was considered one of the team’s top defensive players as well as a consistent shooter.
While Bradley was ultimately used to help acquire Blake Griffin, it looks like the Celtics actually got the better of the deal with the way Morris has played down the stretch. Self-proclaiming himself as the “Beantown Bully,” Morris has instilled an attitude as well as an offensive presence to a Celtics team entering the playoffs without Kyrie Irving, Hayward and temporarily Marcus Smart.
Following a slow start, Marcus Morris has averaged 13.9 points per game this season. While much of that production has come off the bench, the veteran forward has stepped up in a major way when inserted into the starting lineup. At times, he has carried the team, which has made him a gradual fan favorite in the city of Boston.
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As much as Celtics fans have grown in love with Morris, he has fallen in lust with the city, team and fans.
"“Boston is a great place,” Morris said following the season finale, via Masslive.com. “That’s one thing I’m really excited about. I’m grateful to be traded here, just to see the historic building – being here among the greats. Love the opportunity to play for the Boston Celtics.”"
Stepping up as a leader
Along with Al Horford, Marcus Morris is one of the few veterans on the team. Entering the playoffs, Horford has most of the experience, but Morris is the player who can create his own shot and also step up as a vocal leader.
As a player who won’t back down from anyone, Morris will be a reason the Boston Celtics go deep in the playoffs. He recognizes other players will have to step up as well. Just the way they have all season long.
"“Lot of guys stepped up,” Morris said. “Semi Ojeleye has been resilient this entire year, going from not playing as much to getting a lot of minutes. Terry Rozier stepped up when Kyrie went down, and before Kyrie went down he was playing really well. We’ve had a great year, and the injuries have probably brought us closer together. We’re a tight knit group.”"
They are also a group that shouldn’t be underestimated even without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. With the team defense the Boston Celtics play, there is no reason not to believe the team can provide enough offense behind Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, Terry Rozier and Marcus Morris.
It’s fool’s gold at this point, but watch out for a player like Morris and a team like the Celtics in this year’s playoffs. A team written off by just about everyone, may just shock the world.