;”>Marcus Morris is making his preseason debut against the Charlotte Hornets
After missing all of training camp and the start of the preseason because of a trial, Marcus Morris is finally expected to make his debut in the final preseason game against the Charlotte Hornets.
Morris makes his return just a couple of days after Aron Baynes suffered a hyper extended knee, making his presence even more important. The Celtics still have to wait before their full team can play together, and Morris will have to speed up his transition period.
Brad Stevens gave Morris his time before returning. He gave him the adjustment period immediately following the end of his trial, so hopefully that will help get Morris more game ready when he first starts.
The problem is that expectations for him will need to be tempered. He is going to have to take on a bigger role with almost no time to get ready, and the Boston Celtics really cannot afford to have a liability next to Al Horford.
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Even if Morris is a better long term option, Baynes has already proven that he will be a stable a reliable presence beside Horford. For Morris, we still do not know and now he only has one game to show how he can hold up before the regular season starts.
Given how patient Stevens has been so far, we cannot take that starting position for granted even with the Baynes injury. It is really tough to tell exactly what Stevens would do as an alternative to him, but if does not show us anything really good in his first preseason game Stevens will take a more trusted option, even if it means going with some of the youngest players in the team.
We probably should not expect too many minutes for Morris tonight, and it will be interesting to see if that pushes into the regular season. The Celtics have always shown that they will not force things, but this is quite a different situation for Morris.
He is not recovering from any kind of injury, so it is a matter of when Stevens has the trust in him. The Celtics want to be patient, but Morris covers the one area they need things to get together as quick as possible.
Without Baynes or Morris, the Celtics will have a chance to hold the starting unit together, but the second unit is going to be a mess. They are missing out on at least one of those two, and they will lose a lot of Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart minutes, who will take on a lot of the responsibility in small ball situations.
Hopefully we see a lot of positive things form Morris tonight, so we can have a bit more faith that the front court will be functional by the start of the regular season.