Markieff Morris To Start In Place Of McGee

In tonight’s key Game 4 of the Lakers‘ second-round series against the Rockets, forward Markieff Morris will start in place of center JaVale McGee, according to Mike Trudell of Spectrum SportsNet (Twitter link).

Thus, the Lakers will continue their pivot towards a smaller, more shooting-friendly starting lineup that they began in the second half of Game 3, where Morris first got the starting nod over McGee.

Morris, a 38.6% three-point shooter on 3.9 attempts this season for the Lakers and Pistons, will help the Lakers better match up against a smaller, quicker Rockets squad that has kept the previous three games of the series highly competitive, though the Lakers currently lead 2-1.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN tweets that Morris was barely a part of the rotation during the Lakers’ 112-97 Game 1 defeat to Houston, playing just nine minutes. He is averaging 9 points and 4.5 rebounds across the last two games, both Lakers victories. After being cleared to play with no minutes restrictions following a left ankle injury suffered in Game 2, McGee logged just six minutes during LA’s 112-102 Tuesday night Game 3 win.

Morris will start alongside a shooting-heavy lineup of guards Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Danny Green, and All-Star forwards LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

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15 thoughts on “Markieff Morris To Start In Place Of McGee

  1. harden-westbrook-mvps

    Houston goes on a 22-4 run in the fourth to cut the lead to 5, so close.

    • KnickerbockerAl

      I said the duo would have to avg over 30. Not tonight.
      It just seems you’re trying harder. When you don’t have size.
      LA had 52 reb, 88 FGA
      Houston 26 reb, 65 FGA
      Rockets burning out lol.
      Rockets shot 30-39 from FT
      Lakers shot 15-16 from FT
      Only thing kept in gm. Rockets also shot well from three (42.4%). LA shot (30%) from three. LA bench was good today. To beat a good team Rockets need the duo at 60 pts or close. And shoot well as team. I’m not an LA fan. Rockets are so into the numbers. It should tell them. You can’t go thru 3 good teams without bigs. Not going to happen. In playoffs to win a ring. You probably have to go thru 4.

    • C-Daddy

      It’s easy to go on a run when the other team has taken their foot off the gas because they’re up by 20+ points in the fourth. It’s time to face reality – this iteration of the Rockets peaked in 2018.

    • hopper15

      Houston’s window has closed. Should have never made that Westbrook trade.

  2. The Howler

    Looks like Small Ball has run its course for this year. I don’t think D’Antoni is brought back even though they did go all in by trading away Capela. Is a new coach now stuck with the small ball line up and therefore the system?

    • implant

      The new coach will stuck with what they have cause they are over the cap, much like they were after last season. Morey decided to swap salaries and gaurds and made his team worse. Doubt he will be back either

    • GoLandCrabs

      Morey has never been held accountable. He has Beverley, Lou Williams, Montrez Harrell, 3 first round picks and 2 swaps invested in Westbrook a perennial playoff loser.

  3. El Don

    Come on guys show some love for HOU, they actually overachieved this year, they were meant to be out on R1WC, so getting to the R2WC is a big achievement! Also they managed to win a game, so that is very impressive! Way beyond their expectations for the season!

    • illowa

      Not to mention they’re getting beat at their own game. Lakers didnt even use their traditional bigs. Dantoni would love to be back coaching the lakers again now.

      • Chief Two Hands

        D’Antoni is the most overrated head coach in the NBA. He is a one-trick pony with no ability to adjust. Just give the ball to his star guard and run him into the ground. He did it with Nash…injury prone career. He tried it in NY with Carmelo because he didn’t have a star guard. When that didn’t work he simply walked away from the team mid-season. He did did it with Kobe in L.A. and Kobe had to put that team on his back just get to the postseason and that was the direct cause of his injury. If Jim Buss had not prevented Phil Jackson’s return, the Lakers would have rolled into the playoffs and Kobe would not have to play so many minutes. Without Kobe, D’Antoni made no adjustments despite having two of the best big men in the league at the time in Gasoline and Howard. I recall Kobe tweeting out repeatedly, “Go inside! Go inside!” I was saying the same thing. After game one’s loss, D’Antoni was asked about it and his response was “Oh, that’s just Kobe being Kobe, you know.” Yep Kobe was being intelligent. D’Antoni was being D’Antoni. The Lakers got swept because D’Antoni can’t coach without a star guard to run into the ground.

        • Chief Two Hands

          I love how auto-correct still changes “Gasol” to “gasoline,” and I never realize it until it is too late. It still puzzles me that some articles have an edit option while others do not on this site.

  4. KnickerbockerAl

    No hm court advantage. None. That has hurt some teams. Truth is Bron and AD can play small ball. And they are still bigger, stronger than all Rockets.

    I’m not a Harden fan. But do you know he didn’t take a shot in 4Q. Not one. He was 2-11 in the game. This why he is no max player to me. Read this it’s a good article on gm.
    link to

    “Harden reminds us there are no such guarantees. That for every All Time Great, there are so many who had the talent, just not the greatness.“

    Love that quote. It could apply to a few so called great players.

    • Chief Two Hands

      I agree. Also, the Lakers defense was solid and if Harden is not being gifted foul calls by officials, he shrinks pretty quickly, especially in big games.

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