It’s great to see players coming into the new season full of confidence, and Marcus Morris Sr. has forever been a player that doesn’t want for self-assurance, as his publicly declared goal of being the NBA’s leading shooter in terms of three-point percentage displayed.
Though as we saw against the Denver Nuggets, that confidence can become complacency if the Clippers are not careful with it.
Ty Lue’s frustration during his postgame interviews was understandable, but it did perhaps gloss over some of the plus points from the Los Angeles Clippers final preseason matchup with their Western Conference rivals. Norman Powell put up 34 points in an absolute scoring clinic and echoed his coach’s sentiments, while Moussa Diabate got a huge highlight play with a posterizing dunk, and Morris came out on fire to start the game.
You could argue that Morris’s confidence spills over at times on the court, but it’s good to have people with his character in your locker room, because it’s those guys that will be battling the hardest when the chips are down. I guess you could say: he’s got that dog in him.
What is the best-case scenario for Morris’s season?
Coach Lue has already confirmed that Morris will be the Clippers’ starting power forward, therefore the best thing for him would be to nail down that place and be the team’s go-to four during crunch time. While both Robert Covington and Nicolas Batum bring a lot to the squad in terms of defending and playmaking respectively, Morris has proven himself to be an underrated defender who is capable of shooting the lights out. That ability to sit in the corner and hit his shots will be invaluable when Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are up to full speed again.
What is the worst-case outcome?
If he were to lose that starting spot and the competition is fierce, there is a chance he could suddenly find himself falling down the pecking order. Given the amount of different lineups the Clippers can choose to throw at teams this season, it would be no surprise to see Powell getting his wish of becoming the starting shooting guard, which would likely see Kawhi sliding across to the power forward position. That would feel like something of a disaster to Morris given he had been guaranteed those minutes initially, so it’s likely you’ll see him scrapping like a dog (sorry) to ensure that doesn’t become the case.
What do you think is the most-likely role for Morris?
A role alongside the starters suits Morris’s game to a T, so I expect him to keep a tight grip on that, and it genuinely isn’t far from the realms of possibility that he’ll end up being one of the league’s best shooters from deep percentage-wise. With the two stars demanding all the attention, plus Reggie Jackson and John Wall sharing auxiliary ball-handling duties between the starting and bench units, Mook could end up flying under the radar while playing a huge role in whatever success comes to the 213 this year.