Should Celtics have gone to Marcus Morris for last-second shot vs. Bucks?
I know hind-sight is easy, but my short answer is "No" anyway. Marcus Morris has made many of his patented Iso Mook shots over the season, but both Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum had really heated up as the game progressed and may have been better choices.
Morris' offense has been vital to the Celtics in the playoffs. One of the issues with Marcus Morris is he often becomes a black hole on offense. Danny Ainge coined that moniker for Kevin McHale back in the 80's. The ball would go in to Kevin in the low post and never come back out. McHale had an career-assist average of 1.7 APG in the regular season and 1.6 in the playoffs. Morris this season is averaging 1.3 APG for the regular season and a paltry 0.5 APG in the four playoff games.
Opponents know all too well that when Mook gets the ball, he is going to try to score on his own. They don't play him for the pass. Down two points with seconds remaining, Brad Stevens went with Morris for the final shot.
I'll have a more detailed breakdown of why it didn't work on @TheAthleticBOS. Just waiting for the league to supply the video from the game which is taking way longer than usual for some reason. https://t.co/K51SdUnr6o
At that point in the game, Tatum had 7-of-16 for 44% from the field, while Brown was 13-of-24 for 54%. . Morris was 4-of-14 for the game at 29%. Jaylen had the hot hand and he was getting his shots off on the move very nicely. And with Jaylen and Jayson, there would have been the possibility for a quick pass leading hopefully to a hoop and overtime.
Stevens may have felt that the Milwaukee defense would focus on THE JAY-TEAM duo because of their hot hands, and therefore, went with Morris. It didn't work. The shot didn't fall. Hindsight is easy, and who can really fault Brad's decision. But one of Stevens' credos is ball-movement. Morris had no assists last night in 26 minutes of floor time. Hard to justify.
Not sure why the Celtics didn’t go to Tatum or Brown on that last play. As much as I enjoy Iso Mook, you have to live or die with the dudes who were feeling themselves down the stretch.
But to Brad's credit, Morris is shooting a low 37.7% on field goals in the playoffs this season, but a terrific 58.3% (7-of-12) from beyond the arc. A three-pointer would have won the game, and Morris has done that a number of times in the regular season. Just not this time.