HomeBasketball TodayMarcus Morris Sr.: The Game-Changer for Cleveland's Playoff Success

Marcus Morris Sr.: The Game-Changer for Cleveland’s Playoff Success

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Marcus Morris Sr. could help the Cavs off the court as much as on it.

With less than 20 games to go until the playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers are still making roster moves, adding Marcus Morris Sr. to fill their 15th and final roster spot. Several other teams were reportedly interested in acquiring Morris, including the Minnesota Timberwolves. So, to see Morris sign with Cleveland is a pleasant surprise.

In 37 appearances this season with the Philadelphia 76ers, Morris averaged 6.7 points and 2.9 rebounds before being traded to the San Antonio Spurs. Once arriving in San Antonio, Morris never played, eventually being bought out and making him a free agent, free to sign with Cleveland.

What Marcus Morris Sr. brings to Cavs

Philadelphia 76ers forward Marcus Morris Sr. (5) shoots the ball against the Detroit Pistons during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

On paper, adding Morris fills a specific need for the Cavs as a bigger, stronger forward.. Although he won’t be a regular member of Cleveland’s rotation most nights, especially when the playoffs begin, he does give the Cavs even more depth at a position of need. Morris can contribute as a solid two-way player who can shoot lights out from the three-point line if his number is called. He is shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc this season, which could prove crucial in the playoffs for Cleveland.

Speaking of the postseason, the 34-year-old can use his playoff experience to help Donovan Mitchell and the Cavs if they make a deep run. But, again, unless there are tons of injuries or Morris suddenly outplays Dean Wade or Georges Niang, he won’t crack Cleveland’s rotation come playoff time.

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Regardless, Morris can give the Cavs an edge on and off the court that some think they lack after last season’s playoff meltdown against the New York Knicks. Every young, up-and-coming team could use an enforcer and Cleveland found one in Morris. On the court, he has no issue being overly physical, picking up a technical foul or even allowing an ejection to serve as a catalyst for his team.

That hard-nosed, never-back-down demeanor can fuel the Cavs, giving them the edge they lacked against New York last spring—which might be the most valuable thing Morris brings to a team at this advanced stage of his career.

“I’ve been in the league for 13 seasons,” Morris said in November, per Ky Carlin of Sixers Wire. “I’ve always been a professional, always been a leader, and just helping young guys in any way, any capacity I can, using my voice. I have a high IQ. I’ve been around a lot of great coaches, played for a lot of great coaches, a lot of great teams so, just being myself man.”

In his 13 seasons in the NBA, Morris has also been coached by J.B. Bickerstaff, who was an assistant on the Houston Rockets during his early beginnings. For things to come full circle with Morris helping guide Bickerstaff’s young playoff contender is pretty special.

Whether he does or doesn’t play, the Cavs adding Morris is a smart way to utilize their roster spot. Cleveland will feel his impact on or off the floor and Morris could emerge as a local ports legend depending on how this upcoming playoff run goes.

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About the Author

Evan Dammarell is an award-winning sports journalist covering all things Cleveland, including the Cavs, right off the shores of Lake Erie. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. He can also be found three to five times weekly on Locked On Cavs, a part of the Locked On Podcast Network.

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