Thunder

Morris Brings Additional Edge to Thunder

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In today’s league, you can never have too much wing depth. Enter Markieff Morris. The lesser known of the Morris twins is a player who epitomizes positionless basketball. He has the size to play the 2, 3 and 4 with no major lapses on either side of the ball.

 

The 29-year-old is having a solid year in the 34 games he played with the Wizards. He’s only shot 33% from the three yet he’s on pace to make the most three-pointers in his career.

Wing depth surely isn’t an issue for OKC, but why not take a Boston approach to the roster? Versatile players are a dime a dozen in this league and having one more in your deck could be the difference from winning a hand and losing it.

Size and Mobility

The addition brings in a player that combines two of Thunder’s big men best qualities: size and mobility. Morris has lived on the perimeter since coming into the NBA. He’s shot nearly 40% of his shots from 16 feet or further away from the basket– making 36.2% of those shots. That’s far and away better than every single big man that currently plays for the Thunder.

Morris’ abilities unlock lineups the Thunder couldn’t fathom before his arrival. Adding another mobile 6’9” forward who has experience banging in the post with true centers is a difference maker. Playing him alongside Jerami Grant leaves OKC without a true rim protector but leaves the floor so wide open Russell Westbrook or Dennis Schroder won’t so much as sniff a help defender.

As great of an addition as Morris will be to the Thunder offense, he won’t add much value to their defense. His presence on the court means less rim protection from Steven Adams and Nerlens Noel. The Thunder’s top-rated defense will be held captive as Morris’ 115 defensive rating wreaks havoc on their efficiency.

Thankfully, he’ll be tucked behind forwards who are experiencing one of the best defensive performances in their career. Even OKC’s guards are performing above their career defensive averages. Hopefully, their efforts with coach Donovan’s schemes will be contagious for Morris.

Markieff Morris is an obvious plus for the Thunder. A team that lacked frontcourt depth added a versatile big with recent playoff history. Most importantly, he’s still in his prime and wants to compete at the highest level. In Oklahoma City, he’ll have that chance in April once the playoffs begin.

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