We quickly compared Marcus Morris to four other NBA players of interest to Celtics fans.
Now, to “compare” is not to say Morris is the most similar to these players — comparing things means to “not the similarities [and/or] differences.”
But we picked Kelly Olynyk and Amir Johnson, departing Celtics, because they’re familiar to C’s fans, and both bigs. We picked Otto Porter Jr. because he plays a comparable position, is familiar, and about to get a boatload of money. And finally we picked David West, not because “Marcus Morris is another David West,” but because David West is recognized as an excellent power forward or “big” (Stevens nomenclature)
And we tried to pick seasons (as close as we could come) relatively close in age.
You can draw your own conclusions… but a couple tentative ones:
In terms of “rim protection and rebounding” — Danny Ainge’s description of team needs in February — Morris doesn’t add a great deal. But he’s not a downgrade from Amir when the Celtics had him, nor Olynyk.
On the upside, Morris spent most of his minutes in Detroit playing with an alpha rebounding center — Andre Drummond. And as the Celtics summer league coach Jerome Allen put it, “rebounding, especially offensive rebounding, is mostly about desire.”
Morris appears to have that in spades — Jeff Van Gundy reports as follows from his late-game leadership in a Pistons win over the Cavaliers:
“Marcus came to that huddle, 27-12, and he put his hand on my shoulder and said, ‘I got this.’ ” Van Gundy said. “He really went after guys — challenging guys (saying) if they didn’t want to compete to just get back in the locker room.
“He really did a good job, and then we came back and got ourselves into the game, finished the second quarter really well and got the lead.”