Pistons: Marcus Morris is Team’s Early Season MVP


Marcus Morris has been the Detroit Pistons most valuable player during their 3-0 start to this season.

Even though Andre Drummond just won honors as the Eastern Conference Player of the Week and Reggie Jackson has picked up right where he left off last season, this team would not be undefeated if it weren’t for Morris.

Drummond is unable to stretch the defense past ten feet from the basket, and Jackson’s jump shot is not always on target. Morris is able to create off the dribble, attacking the paint and pulling up for mid-range shots to produce easy buckets, as well as knocking down three’s at an efficient rate.

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Morris has been lighting it up from all over the court, leading the team in scoring and minutes played, all while shooting nearly 50 percent from the field and a blistering 57.1 percent from the long-line. His diverse skillset has brought an interesting dynamic to the Pistons’ new starting lineup. Aside from his scoring prowess, he has averaged over seven boards per game and dished out two assists per game.

He has spaced the floor to perfection and created his own offense in times where the Pistons have desperately needed a bucket. Jackson and Drummond can only carry so much of the load, and Morris has been a willing and able candidate to ease the burden. He is feeling comfortable in the red, white and blue, saying that Head Coach Stan Van Gundy has made Detroit feel like home for him in an interview with Pistons’ team website.

Van Gundy asked a lot of him from the day he decided to nab him from the Phoenix Suns, telling him to be in the best shape of his life and to be ready to stretch the floor. It shouldn’t come as much a surprise that Morris has flourished so well in his new environment. The coaching staff and the players believe in his ability and his skill-set fits perfectly into Van Gundy’s run and gun offense. He may not be the best player on the team, but his role is important.

Oct 30, 2015; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Marcus Morris (13) takes a shot over Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic (44) during the third quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Pistons win in overtime 98-94. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Morris has been the team’s release valve, a place to go when Jackson and Drummond can’t create in the pick-and-roll or getting to the basket. Every team needs a guy to be that third or fourth option on the offensive end to create balance and keep the opposition honest.

The looks he has been producing are opening up driving lanes and preventing defenses from double-teaming in the post. Because of this, Reggie Jackson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Andre Drummond are able to attack the defense and produce points. Detroit’s new plethora of three-point shooters are also benefiting from the attention that opposing are defenses are giving to Morris, getting clean looks from beyond the arc.

If Morris is able to sustain the level of play he has opened this season with, he could be a leading candidate for Most Improved Player and be a key member of a playoff basketball team.