With the Boston Celtics having one of the most powerful rosters in the league, it is sometimes easy to forget the players that may not be a household name. With a stacked starting five of Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward, and Al Horford, people often forget about the depth of the Celtics lineup. Between the starting five, and a deep bench presence, it is hard for members of the Celtics to get a lot of minutes. One player has stood out amongst the Celtics, and it his time for him to get the recognition and appreciation he deserves. Marcus Morris is the underrated star of the Boston Celtics.
Marcus Morris: The Underrated Star of the Boston Celtics
Last year, in the 2017-18 season, the Celtics finished second in the Eastern Conference with a record of 55-27. They were defeated in game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals at the hands of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. With Hayward, Irving, and other players going down with an injury at some point in the season, the healthy players were given a lot of minutes. Terry Rozier was seen as the most impressive player to step up after Irving went down with a knee injury, but fans are overlooking someone – Marcus Morris.
In the 2017-18 season, Morris played in 54 games, 21 of which were starts. In his 26 minutes per game, he averaged 13.6 points, 1.3 assists, and 5.4 rebounds (a career-high), with a field goal percentage of 43%. While these numbers are comparable to previous seasons played, he did it all with 6 fewer minutes played. He has also been very valuable in the positionless system of head coach Brad Stevens. Morris is able to play either the Small or Power Forward position, so it gives him a lot of flexibility. Marcus Morris has stepped into the role of team enforcer and spark plug. He always seems to give that added burst of energy when the team needs it most.
Come playoff time, Marcus Morris, who is often referred to as Mook, was given more minutes per game. Now playing 30 minutes per game, Morris was a needed asset – and a reliable one at that. In the post-season, Morris’ 3-point percentage skyrocketed, as he shot 42% from beyond the arch. Whenever the team needed him, Morris seemed to kick it into gear and really step up.
While the Celtics as a whole were a disappointing 1-3 in the preseason, Morris once again stepped up and showed his value. With Hayward showing he is not truly game ready, and Tatum having a rough start, Morris shined. He played in all 4 games, averaging 20 minutes per game. In those minutes, Morris averaged 14 points, a steal, an assist, 4 rebounds, and a field goal percentage of 44%. He also shot 42% from beyond the arch.
With the Celtics being a very young team, Morris is a needed veteran presence. His reliability is something that is often overlooked, and it is time for him to get some appreciation. At the end of this season, Morris will be an unrestricted free agent. The Celtics should re-sign him as soon as possible as reliability is extremely hard to find in a role player. Marcus Morris is truly an underrated star and he deserves more respect and appreciation.
Embed from Getty Images