Morris shows no signs of fear in a possible small-ball lineup for the Clippers

Marcus Morris, LA Clippers - Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Marcus Morris, LA Clippers - Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Currently, the LA Clippers’ backup center role holds many uncertainties. The free agent market does not have too many options that meet the criteria the Clippers are looking for. With countless players who can guard any position on the floor, head coach Tyronn Lue will often utilize his small-ball lineup this season.

A player who would fit the role of a center in the small-ball lineup is three-level scorer Marcus Morris. Lue understands that Morris’ competitive spirit and will to win can elevate the Clippers’ potential as the small-ball center. This would leave players like Robert Covington, Terance Mann, and Nicolas Batum in a more comfortable role, playing their familiar positions.

Furthermore, Morris recently set the tone on how he feels about playing the center position in a small-ball lineup. It is clear that he will embrace the challenges and feel ready to compete with anyone who comes his way. This is excellent news for the LA Clippers, as Lue now has more flexibility in his rotations.

Having a player like Morris at the center position would run opposing teams off the court. A small-ball center who is one of the best shooters in the world is an unfair advantage in today’s NBA. This change in the rotation would uplift the LA Clippers’ odds of winning their first-ever championship.

Marcus Morris fits like a glove in a small-ball lineup for the LA Clippers.

With no solidified backup center, the LA Clippers will need Marcus Morris to give it his all every night. However, Lue will not impose all of the small-ball center duties on Morris’ shoulders. There will be times when other players will be running the center position.

Knowing that Morris is comfortable as the center in a small-ball lineup can ease the LA Clippers’ game plan on both ends of the court. His stats also show that he is ready, as it was just a season ago (202-21) when Morris shot 47.3% from three on 5.2 attempts per game. This would be a nightmare for opponents if Morris can return to this form.

Moreover, Morris may have the best season of his career this year. He noted in the LA Clippers’ 2022 media day that he has slimmed down and should be dunking the ball more often this season. Morris lived up to his promise as a dunk was in the highlights during the LA Clippers’ third preseason game. In addition, Morris looked extremely sharp throughout the preseason as he averaged 12 points on 66.7% from three (4.0 attempts per game).

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Now in his 12th year in the NBA, Morris appears to be moving better than ever. His game looks fluid, and he has been playing hard on both ends of the court. Lue should immediately look in Morris’ direction when deciding the small-ball lineups. If he can shoot the lights out on the perimeter, it is safe to say that no team will stand a chance against the LA Clippers this season.