Since coming over in the James Harden trade at the end of October, Marcus Morris Sr. has continued to find his footing with his hometown Philadelphia 76ers. As he began his Sixers career, Morris looked uneven, to put it mildly. Recently, he’s appeared far more comfortable with two 16-point performances in his last three games.
Morris’ On/Off Court impact
After the Sixers’ blowout victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, which saw impressive performances by both Morris and veteran Pat Bev, head coach Nick Nurse had this to say about their impact:
“Those two guys especially, not only out there on the court tonight gave us a lift, but they’ve been a great lift for about the last five or six days. They’ve really shown some veteran presence in practice, film… pushing everybody to get really focused down and locked in and stuff.”
Nurse is clearly liking what he’s seeing so far. The impact by both Morris and Beverley, as Nurse stated, is currently going beyond the court, but their on-court impact has also been integral to the team’s recent success.
“It comes natural to me”
Morris may not always provide the level of production on the court that he did Monday night, but it’s his voice that is far more important. After the game, Morris spoke on his focus and ability as a leader to this team:
“You know, it just comes natural to me man. I’ve been in the league for 13 seasons, I’ve always been a professional always been a leader, and just helping young guys in any any way or, you know, any capacity I can use my voice. I have a high IQ. I’ve been around like great coaches, played for a lot of great coaches and for a lot of great teams. So you know, just being myself man. It just comes naturally, you know, just trying to help guys and trying to find a way you know, trying to find my way or so.”
Morris rightfully points to his tenure in the league as a contributing factor to his ability as a leader. For thirteen years, he has been in this league and played a number of roles. He’s started more games than not, he’s been a reserve as well, and he’s appeared on a number of playoff teams. The experience that has provided Morris cannot be understated.
Morris also mentions the coaches he’s played under in the past. From Brad Stevens to Ty Lue and even former Sixers coach Doc Rivers, Morris has played under a number of accomplished coaches over his career, Nick Nurse being the latest addition to that group.
All of these experiences, paired with Morris’ natural leadership abilities, have given the Sixers yet another crucial voice in their locker room.
Morris’s role will likely remain fluid as the team awaits the return of Kelly Oubre Jr.; however, one aspect of his role that will not change as long as he is on this team is his role as a leader. One that has benefited the Sixers significantly during this early stretch of the season.