POP Season Preview: Marcus Morris Stays Underrated
Marcus Morris was very quietly a good small forward last year. Morris was traded to the Pistons last offseason in a shocking move that caused a lot of trouble for the Phoenix Suns organization. Detroit drafted Stanley Johnson in the 2015 NBA Draft before they acquired Morris in the offseason, but that did not stop Morris from taking the starting small forward spot for the 2015-2016 season. He went on to have a fantastic season with the Pistons, posting career numbers in multiple statistics. There is no doubt that Marcus Morris had a very underrated season last year.
Morris played 10.5 more minutes per game last season than he did in the 2013-2014 year. He played 35.7 minutes per game which put him amongst league leaders for minutes per game last year. He was effective and efficient in those minutes, as he played a very important role in the Pistons playoff run. He averaged 14.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game last season, all career highs. As mentioned, he was an efficient shooter last year. He shot 46.7% from inside the arc, 36.2% from the three-point line, and 74.9% from the free throw line. While the three-point shooting sticks out as not being very efficient, it would be wrong to not note how good of a shooter from deep Morris was in the 2nd half of last season. In his 27 games post All-Star Weekend, he shot 44.8% from deep. In the first half of the year he shot an extremely poor 31.1% from deep. Morris was spot on in catch and shoot situations from the three-point line last season, shooting 39.7% in the catch and shoot category. Morris also possesses a solid mid-range game. He shot 42.5% on mid-range pull-up jump shots. That area of his game was huge for the Pistons, as he was one of their few one-on-one go to options throughout the season. His scoring ability blossomed last season when he became a Piston.
This season Morris is the presumed starting small forward. Stanley Johnson will have a major role, but it will likely be in a sixth man role. Morris was good last season, and didn’t do anything to lose his starting job. His starting gig should be safe for the beginning of the season, but he will need to perform well as Stanley Johnson will be gunning for the starting spot. Morris also is the presumed starter due to the leadership he brings to the court. He is vocal, loud, and a veteran that will back you up on the court. He is a guy you want on your side, as many players that have played with him echoed. Detroit is a team in need of leadership, and Morris provides that.
Morris was very underrated last season. His mix of scoring, efficiency, and lock down defense made him a quality starter and a key piece for the Pistons last season?
Featured image via: USA TODAY Sports