Markieff Morris has been notably absent from any of the media that the Los Angeles Lakers have been putting out since the entered the NBA bubble. This led some to question whether or not he’s even arrived in Orlando, Florida. Head coach Frank Vogel didn’t help when he wouldn’t tell the media whether or not Morris was there and didn’t give any information on where he might be.
It’s easy to speculate if there’s something wrong with Morris, but Kyle Goon of the OC Register revealed what’s going on with the Lakers forward:
A person with knowledge of the situation told Southern California News Group that Markieff Morris, who signed with the Lakers in February as a free agent, had an excused absence but was expected to join the team soon. It’s unknown whether Marcus Morris, his twin brother who was acquired by the Clippers two weeks earlier, has a similar arrangement with his team.
What exactly the Morris brothers are up to remains to be seen but it sounds like the Lakers are counting on Markieff to return. That’s good news as the team has already lost Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo. Losing Morris would’ve seriously hurt their depth even more than it already has been.
Anthony Davis Thinks Morris Will Help Team
There’s been no indication over the last month or so that the Lakers aren’t confident that Morris will be a big part of the team. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago, Anthony Davis singled out the forward as a player he thinks will make an impact.
“Markieff showed that he can be a big part of our team,” Davis said. “Dion [Waiters] and JR [Smith] are obviously going to help us tremendously as well, with JR’s ability to shoot, and Dion’s ability to score and play-make. I think it’s going to be beneficial for us going to Orlando, and give us a chance to win.”
Markieff is thought to be the less talented of the Morris brothers but he’s a big body who is a capable scorer off the bench. He also brings a nice edge to the team.
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Lakers Frontcourt Should Be Strong
With the losses of Bradley and Rondo, there are some real concerns in the Lakers’ backcourt. The additions of Waiters and Smith should soften the blow. Also, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Alex Caruso have proven to be capable contributors. However, the team will definitely miss Bradley’s shooting and defense and the Lakers were hoping to see “Playoff Rondo” reborn. Luckily, as long as they have LeBron James, they should be very competitive in the backcourt.
An area that shouldn’t be a concern for the team is their frontcourt. Anthony Davis is one of the two best power forwards in the NBA and JaVale McGee is a strong starter. They also have Dwight Howard coming off the bench, who’s been one of the most efficient players in the league. If Kyle Kuzma can recapture the magic that made him look like a potential star in previous seasons, the Lakers’ frontcourt is formidable. There are a number of teams who simply won’t be able to compete with Los Angeles’ bigs and that could be their biggest advantage heading into the playoffs.