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.