Marcus Morris - the X-Factor

Marcus Morris is slated to return to the Celtics lineup this week. What can we expect? Where does he fit? In reviewing his stats from previous years with Houston, Phoenix and Detroit. The first thing that popped out at me was his consistency in his two seasons with the Pistons. Here are the numbers:

2015-16: 80 games, 35.7 min., 14.1 pts., .434 FG, .362 on threes, .749 FT, 5.1 reb., 2.5 asst.

2016-17: 79 games, 32.5 min., 14.0 pts., .418 FG, .331 on threes, .784 FT, 4.6 reb., 2.0 asst.

Very consistent numbers. Morris only missed three games in two seasons with Detroit, but he has been hampered this season by the Phoenix court case and injury. The injury may have been related to being out of shape as a direct result of the court proceeding. He should be ready to go, but will he fit with the fans? Here are the thoughts of the Boston Globe's Bob Ryan:

The Celtics are still reasonably well covered at the forward spot. They’ve got Al Horford. They’ve got Jaylen Brown. They’ve got Marcus Morris (I think fans are going to like him). And they’ve got Tatum.

That is a pretty solid recommendation from Ryan. How about fitting with the team. Marcus M. recently went through the rigors of a felony court case (and won) and then a subsequent injury, I certainly believe he would do everything in his power to work hard, do everything right and focus on whatever will help bring success to the team. And not adversely affect what has already been accomplished. I believe that is what Morris will do.

Because of the injury, Brad Stevens will most likely bring him along slowly. I doubt he is in great game shape yet. Putting Morris with the second unit initially and then experimenting with him as a starter for a few games in the near future would seem to be the best course. Marcus M. seems to be able to do a bit of everything, while doing nothing poorly. He hits his field goals, threes and free throws well. He rebounds and can rack up a few assists. And he can defend.

Within a few weeks, we should know a lot more about Marcus the X-Factor. He has the talent, and should have the determination, to add a positive dimension to an already-successful team. It is up to him. As Bob Ryan wrote, I think we are going to like him.

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