Lakers power forward Markieff Morris and his twin brother, Clippers power forward Marcus Morris, are hoping to meet in the playoffs in a Western Conference Finals for the ages, writes J. Brady McCollough of the Los Angeles Times. Marcus’ club is currently down 2-1 to the ascendant, lower-seeded Mavericks. Markieff’s Los Angeles team, the 2020 champion, is up 2-1 against the higher-seeded Suns.
“That matchup wasn’t supposed to happen in the bubble,” Marcus said of the Lakers-Clippers all-Staples Center showdown that fans were denied in the Orlando restart season “bubble” in 2020. “That was supposed to happen in Staples Center.”
McCollough reveals that the Morris brothers and their families live just 10 minutes apart on the west side of Los Angeles County (near their clubs’ practice facilities), with Markieff in Playa del Rey and Marcus in nearby Manhattan Beach.
“[W]e know the importance of having your family around for your success in life, just having that backbone and that stability,” Marcus said. “Being in the same city has been amazing.”
How long the brothers will remain in the same city remains to be seen. Markieff inked a one-year, minimum-salary deal with the Lakers for this season and has remained a valuable stretch-four option off the bench for L.A. Clippers starter Marcus signed a four-year, $64MM extension ahead of the 2020/21 season, though McCollough acknowledges that the Clips may make roster changes if the team continues to underperform in the postseason.
There’s more out of the Pacific Division:
- Recently-extended Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox exhibited significant growth in his play and leadership, even amidst an otherwise-disappointing Sacramento season, writes James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area. “Just trying to get to that level of consistency, where night in and night out you’re playing really good and if you’re not playing great, you’re still playing really good basketball and I don’t think I was there just yet,” Fox said. He averaged a career-best 25.2 PPG, to go along with 7.2 APG, 3.5 RPG and 1.5 SPG. Ham observes that Fox’s driving ability and his stroke on jumpers from 10-16 feet away from the bucket are high-level, though the rest of his shot chart is a bit more erratic.
- Lakers starting shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been ruled out for this afternoon’s Game 4 matchup against the Suns due to a left knee contusion, tweets Mark Medina of USA Today. Veteran Wesley Matthews would make the most positional sense as a replacement starter, tweets Jovan Buha of The Athletic. Lakers All-Star power forward/center Anthony Davis, however, will be suiting up today as he plays through a knee injury, tweets Marc Stein of the New York Times.
- Suns All-Star point guard Chris Paul remains a game-time decision for today’s pivotal Game 4 against the Lakers, tweets Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic. Paul has been battling a shoulder injury since Game 1. The Suns are currently down 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. Paul’s output has taken a turn with reduced minutes since the injury. He is averaging 6.7 PPG, 6.3 APG, and 4.0 RPG for the series.