In the wake of the Lakers’ takedown of the Clippers on Sunday afternoon, one number lingered for Clippers starting power forward Marcus Morris: Zero.
That’s how many shots Morris made in nine attempts in the loss. He missed seven 3-point tries—three from the left corner, two from the top of the arc and two from the right wing. He missed two shots in the paint, both coming from the left elbow. He scored one point.
It was Morris’ worst game of the season, the only game he’s played in which he failed to make a shot from the field. He did have six rebounds but also committed five fouls and was a minus-16 on the day in the loss, which came on national television.
Morris, in his 11th game as a Clipper, has had to adjust to being a third or fourth option after being the main scoring threat on the Knicks all season. That’s no excuse, though, he said.
“I need to be better regardless of what my role is,” Morris said, according to the L.A. Times. “I’m a veteran, a pro. I just need to be better. I didn’t feel like I impacted this game to the best of my abilities, even without scoring, just doing other things.”
Morris Brothers Highlight Lakers-Clippers Rivalry
It was especially bad timing for such a poor performance, for a few reasons. For one thing, ahead of the trade deadline, Morris was the subject of a bidding war between the Lakers and Clippers as the Knicks looked to ship him to a contender last month. The Lakers wanted Morris, but the Clippers’ package of Moe Harkless, a 2020 first-round pick and a 2021 second-rounder ultimately won the day.
The other issue: Marcus Morris was facing off against his twin brother, Markieff Morris. When the Lakers failed to acquire Marcus Morris, they wound up landing Markieff Morris in the buyout market after he was released by Detroit.
Markieff Morris outplayed his brother despite playing only 16 minutes (to 29 minutes for Marcus). Markieff Morris was 2-for-5 shooting with four points and five rebounds off the bench.
Marcus Morris’ Role Changed with Clippers
The adjustment to a new role has been a challenge for Marcus Morris, who averaged 19.6 points on 14.8 shots in New York. He is now averaging 9.5 points on 10.0 shots in L.A.
But the Clippers are his sixth team in his nine-year NBA career and he has played smaller roles for good teams before, reaching the postseason three times—once with Detroit and twice with the Celtics.
“At at the end of the day it’s about winning and that’s why I came here, that’s why they brought me here, to win and not worry about my shots,” Morris said. “As a competitor, I want to shoot more — what player doesn’t? But at the same time we’re winning games, me playing hard and me doing the smaller things. There are going to be opportunities where I can do my thing. But I’m here to continue to help the team and help us push it to that next level.”