In order for any team to win 15 games in a row in the NBA, they need players to step up and contribute, night in and night out against some of the best players in the league. That is exactly what the Boston Celtics are getting, not just from their star players but from their bench as well. During this streak, the Celtics have had to come back from double-digit deficits on a number of occasions. After losing Gordon Hayward for the year five minutes into the season opener, the Celtics knew they needed players to step up and make up for that loss and that is exactly what they have done. One of these players has been Marcus Morris.
Morris was traded in the offseason from the Detroit Pistons to Boston for Avery Bradley. He has been in the league long enough that people knew what they were getting out of him but to this point in the season, he has been a pleasant surprise. One of the main reasons why the Celtics went after Morris was for his defensive ability. He is a really good defender and has shown in the past that he can guard Lebron James, which come playoff time could be very valuable. Defensively he has been really good this year, and one moment stands out when he was able to guard Kemba Walker during the last seconds of the game where the Celtics needed a stop to win and he put enough pressure on Walker that he missed the shot. Morris is one of the reasons why the Celtics have the best defense in the league.
Offensively, Morris might be having the best season of his career if he can keep up the pace throughout the year. After missing the team’s first nine games, Morris has played in the last eight and has started six of those games. Morris is averaging 13.5 points per game, which is 0.6 points lower than his career high but he is also playing 12.3 minutes less per game. If Morris were to play 36 minutes a game he would average 20.8 points per game which would be five more points then any other time in his career. His field goal percentage would be a career high by almost three percent if he finishes the season shooting this effectively. His three-point field goal percentage and free throw percentage would also be career highs. He is also rebounding the best of any time of his career. This is important because the Celtics were one of the worst rebounding teams in the entire NBA last year and are now one of the better rebounding teams in the league, partly because of what Morris is doing on the glass.
Morris has been great so far in limited action. Defensively he has been very good and has helped the Celtics become the best defense in the league. Offensively, he has never shot better in his career, and he will most likely be given more minutes as he becomes more comfortable coming off his injury, so there is a chance he will be scoring even more then he is now. When Avery Bradley left, Celtics fans were sad because he was a crowd favorite and was a good player, but after seeing what Morris brings to the team and the fact that Bradley is a free agent at the end of the year it looks like Danny Ainge has made another good move for the Celtics.
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