Marcus Morris, Sr. of Clippers happy to be back – Press Enterprise

LOS ANGELES—Mock is back, but not too soon.

The Clippers – 10-8 entry on the Friday after Thanksgiving morning against the 4-14 Detroit Pistons at Staples Center – had been short-running all season. According to Spotrac, they had players Missed 80 matches combinedIn third place in the NBA after the Orlando Magic (93) and the Lakers (83).

They’ve been without their superstar Kawhi Leonard (AFC Champions League) for that long, but they’ve played without her as well. Many other major players, including Marcus Morris Sr., who appeared in two games and then missed 15 games after injuring his right left knee.

“Just basic training, training my knees,” Morris explained on Tuesday after scoring 31 minutes and collecting 10 points and five rebounds on his return to work.

“It wasn’t like anything serious, the same thing I’ve been dealing with so they gave me some time to just love his training and prepare him for a full season and I think I’ve made good use of the time and feel great.”

Morris’ return is a timely reinforcement for the Clippers who are expected to be without glue man Nicholas Batum for at least 10 days and the next three matches as per the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

“It will probably be a lot better when Nico comes back,” coach Tyronn Lue previously said. Extra Tuesday’s loss to the Dallas MavericksWhen Morris scored 31 minutes and had 10 points and five rebounds on his return to the game.

“Right now, it’s going to be kind of like the same role that Nico played, with a minute restriction and not being able to play crazy minutes for him.”

After Tuesday’s game, his coach and teammates said he looked fine, and most importantly, Morris said he felt that way too.

“I felt good,” said the 32-year-old, who shot 4 for 12 and 2 for 7 from a 3-point range against the Mavs. “It’s not shot twice, but it’s part of the game. I felt like I defended really well – take a month off, I think I look good myself. The shots will come, the rhythm will come, I’m a veteran. I just felt good being there.”

Morris said he’s eager to contribute to what the Clippers have achieved — especially Paul George, who averages 26.4 points per game and fourth in the NBA, as well as his highest percentage of field goals (46.7%) and assists (5.3). Early on, though, both had to waste time.

“The team is very resilient, man,” Morris said. “Having the players outside and traveling a lot, a lot of games in a row… It’s brutal, the schedule was rough. But it’s the NBA and I think the players have done a great job. PG plays at MVP level and Reggie (Jackson) plays (butt) and guys from Around it they come in and do what they’re supposed to do, and they put our best foot forward.

“Just bring my voice, add my strength,” he added, referring to the Clippers’ defensive success so far – their 102.5 defensive rating is the second-best in the league as they only allow 102.9 points per game, fourth lowest.

“The team is doing really well with the attention to detail and rotation and the coach puts them in great places and a lot of players who have been together so it’s kind of easy to communicate with the players and the guys know where they are and we’re doing what we’re supposed to do.”

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