Marcus Morris Looking To Set New Tone For Cavaliers

Marcus Morris Sr., Cavaliers, NBA
Mar 25, 2024; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Marcus Morris Sr. (24) shoots in the second quarter against the Charlotte Hornets at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers have picked up a reputation recently that no NBA team wants to be associated with. There are a lot of analysts and even some of their peers around the league who believe that they are a soft team.

When they faced off against the New York Knicks a few weeks ago, Josh Hart grabbed Donovan Mitchell’s chain as he was standing on the sidelines. Fans and media personalities alike were outraged that the Cavaliers not only allowed a short-handed Knicks team to beat them but how willingly they took their loss.

That has been the case since the 2023 NBA Postseason when the Knicks bullied the Cavaliers in their first-round matchup. New York won the series in five games, dominating in virtually every facet of the game and knocking Cleveland out of rhythm.

That is something veteran forward Marcus Morris Sr. is looking to change. Morris signed a 10-day contract with the team on March 18th and has made it his mission to change the perception of the Cavaliers.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Marcus Morris Sr. & Cleveland Cavaliers Updates

“There’s been a lot of grueling games and I was just wanted to toughen us up,” Morris said. “Step in front of it like, listen this is what’s going to be expected moving forward, not just for today. Set the precedent going into the playoffs. We’re not about to have anybody coming in here and doing what they want to do.

“I wanted to play the game, I didn’t want to get thrown out, but I definitely wanted to put a little lick on him. I was happy the way we responded.”

The play Morris is referencing occurred on Monday night against the Charlotte Hornets. Hornets’ center Nick Richards was rolling to the basket when Morris flattened him with an elbow that was up around the chest and neck area.

After reviewing the play, it was determined by the referee crew to assess Morris with a flagrant-2 foul and ejection. The tough-guy reputation that Morris has garnered was on full display, as he certainly set a tone for his teammates to follow.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Marcus Morris Sr. & Cleveland Cavaliers Updates

“I never really want to get ejected from a game,” he said. “I still want to help my team, but I’m just happy we responded really well. Going forward, man, like I told the team, each of these games got to be treated like the playoffs.

“So if I got to lay somebody out every game, and we’re going to respond like that, then so be it.”

It was a play that did spark his teammates, as the Cavaliers took a 14-point lead into halftime. But, even Morris admits that he didn’t want to take it as far as he did. He was only looking to light a fire under his guys, not injure an opponent.

“I just wanted to be physical,” Morris said. “Like I told the player (Richards), I wasn’t trying to hurt him. I’m just trying to set the tone, man. You’re rolling down the paint, catching lobs and we’re trying to stop that type of (stuff).”

Morris certainly brings something to the Cavaliers that they were missing. A veteran like that is what every NBA team needs to set an example for the young guys and get his teammates going. Injuring someone is never the goal for Morris, but he accomplished what he wanted, as the Cavaliers picked up an important 115-92 win.

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