Morris’ Defensive Impact:
Morris being an important piece was not just the spacing he brought on the offensive end, it was his energetic defensive impact too. His presence allowed the purple and gold to rotate efficiently, especially as James Harden was the subject of constant hard double-teams.
He added another pair of quick feet, something that 7-footer JaVale McGee lacks, as well as a large frame to cover the perimeter, contest shots, and stand strong in the paint. His rebounding game was a useful addition, especially with the loss of a traditional big man rotation. Morris snatched an average of 4 rebounds through games 2-5. Up on his 3.2 rebounds in the regular season whilst representing the Lakers.
As well as leading the team in offensive rating, Morris also led the team in defensive rating (101.0) throughout the Rockets series. This was with players that played over 10 minutes per game.
His impact throughout the series was a huge component to the Lakers getting the job done and dusted as quick as they did. His toughness, persistence and speed was major, as the Frank Vogel choose to ultimately out-Rocket the Rockets.
There is one more team-leading statistic, however. In the 5 games against the Rockets, Morris led the Lakers in terms of plus/minus average. He had a +9 rating, sitting ahead of LeBron James (8.4) and Danny Green (6.8), who placed second and third, respectively.
Markieff Morris was a huge on both ends of the ball in what was heavily touted to be a tough series for the Lakers. Moving forward to a potential match-up against the Los Angeles Clippers or Denver Nuggets, his presence won’t be needed in the same small ball capacity. But coming back off the bench, his instant scoring punch and defensive intensity will be much needed.
In a potential Western Conference Finals match-up against the Clippers, Markieff could be used to man-mark his twin-brother Marcus. Which would be an entertaining prospect, to say the least.
Lakers UK are proud affiliate partners of Fanatics UK and the NBA Store Europe. We do possess unique promotional codes for both websites that can offer our readers and followers 10% off site-wide through the following weblinks.
Fanatics UK: http://tinyurl.com/y4vjv32b and enter the promotional code LAKERSUK10 at checkout to receive 10% off. This is not limited to just NBA apparel, but the discount can be used on MLB, NFL, NHL, Football/Soccer gear also!
NBA Store Europe: http://tinyurl.com/y585vud9 and enter the promotional code LAKERSUK10 at checkout. This is not limited to Lakers gear, the discount is available site-wide on any product you wish to purchase!