27 days and counting until the NBA officially returns to action, but for many fans, July 30th can’t come any sooner. The Los Angeles Clippers will get their chance to continue the quest of finally reaching the NBA Finals.
This team surely has the talent and depth to not only accomplish such a feat but to also bring home the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. They have a star-studded duo in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George as well as a great surrounding cast in Patrick Beverley, Ivica Zubac, Lou Williams, etc. However, their biggest X-Factor, that could be the key to overcoming all odds during this restart, is a player that wasn’t even on the team to start the year.
Bleacher Report named Marcus Morris Sr. as the Clippers player who could make the biggest impact down the stretch. LA acquired Morris Sr. earlier this year in a three-team trade with the New York Knicks and Detroit Pistons. Before switching coasts, the 6-foot-8 forward was having a career year that saw him averaging career highs in points (19.6), rebounds (5.4), three-pointers made (2.7), and three-point field goal percentage (43.9). Just look at the level that he played against the Clippers on January 5, of this year.
Despite that, Morris Sr. hasn’t played at the same level in 12 games with the Clippers, instead struggling to average just 9.5 points a game and shooting 38.6 percent from the field.
The Clippers can’t afford such production if they want to secure a playoff spot and make a run deep into the Finals. LA traded for him for a reason as they wanted to add another quality shooter to pair with Kawhi and Paul George, while also solidifying their defense. LA is already a favorite to reach the Conference Finals and face off against their Staple Center rivals. The Lakers are bringing their own talented cast lead by LeBron James and Anthony Davis. If Morris Sr. can get back on track to the level of production he was at before the trade earlier in the year, then the Clippers shouldn’t have a problem dealing with the Lakers en route to reaching their first-ever NBA Finals.