Marcus Morris in 1st Celtics post-season start outplays Lebron James
Yes, you are reading that right. Marcus Morris got his first playoff start as a Celtic for the main purpose of covering Lebron James, and it worked like a charm in Boston's 108-83 victory over Cleveland.
Morris collected a double-double (21 points, 10 rebounds), making Lebron work hard on the offensive and defensive end. The King has few bad games, but this had to be one of them.
Lebron scored 15 points on 31% from the field and 0-for-5 on three-pointers. He also had seven turnovers and a team-worst plus/minus of -32. Conversely, Mook shot 58% on field goals and 75% from beyond the arc. I suppose we can forgive him for the zero assists for the game. Marcus' shots generally came within the flow of the game. He wasn't forcing his shots as he has done so often in the past.
Mook certainly has the size and strength to defend Lebron, and he showed that yesterday. He was not the only Celtic to cover The King, but he had the task for the bulk of the time. At least in part, Morris backed up his claim that, other then Kawhi Leonard, he was the best guy to defend James.
Marcus Morris not shying away from matchup with LeBron: “Personally, I think probably the best guy defending him in the league, outside of Kawhi.”
LeBron James' +/- was -32, tying the worst of his playoff career (was -32 vs. Spurs on 6/11/13). Also, 3rd time he has been 0/5 or worse on 3s and made at least 7 turnovers. All three came vs the #Celtics
Boston's defense in this Game One of the series was stifling. There were few mismatches caused by defensive switches, and the Celtics won the rebounding battle 48-40. Morris had a team-high 10 boards. This was a very good game for him, and we would like to see more of them. Danny Ainge traded for Morris, in part, because of his size, strength and reputation as a Lebron James defender. It worked - at least for one game.