Tuesday 18th June 2024,
The Hoop Doctors

Markieff Morris Plans to Play in Wizards’ Game 2 Matchup with Celtics Following Ankle Sprain

Markieff Morris

Markieff Morris suffered a sprained ankle in the first half of the Washington Wizards’ Game 1 loss to the Boston Celtics on Sunday. It was not a pretty injury, and Morris thought it was much worse, per NBA.com’s David Aldridge:

Initial perception won’t stop Morris from playing in Game 2. He wanted to return in Game 1, apparently, but the Wizards thought better of it. And now he has every intention of playing Tuesday’s tilt. We just don’t know if Washington has the same goal, per ESPN.com’s Chris Forsberg:

Wizards coach Scott Brooks said after Boston’s 123-111 victory that he did not have an update on Morris, who will be re-evaluated on Monday, but admitted the injury did not look good.

Inside the Wizards’ locker room, Morris remained adamant he’d play.

“For sure,” said Morris. “Hell yeah. It ain’t broke. It’s what I do.”

Morris said he wanted to come back into Sunday’s Game 1 but was held out by the team. Said Morris: “It’s a long series.”

This has been said before, countless times, but Morris is extremely important to what the Wizards do on defense. Anything he gives them on offense isn’t solely a bonus, but his impact is felt most on the less glamorous end—particularly in a series like this.

Otto Porter and Morris are the Wizards’ most versatile defenders. They switch a ton, and they’re the team’s best bet at surviving one-on-one situations. Morris is even more integral to guarding isolations, so if he can’t go, the team team will be hard-pressed to deter Isaiah Thomas drives and kick-outs. The Celtics shoot a ton of threes, and the mere threat of volume—not even their success rate on the volume—limits how many traps and double-teams the Wizards can employ. They need smart defenders on the court who, aside from switching, don’t need more help than the single rim protector behind them provides.

Morris is all this to Washington, and more. If he can’t go in Game 2, or if he’s not right moving forward while trying to play through pain, this series will tilt heavily in Boston’s favor. He’s that important.

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