As Morris fielded questions about his 20-point performance against the Indiana Pacers, his 9-month old son - Marcus Morris Jr., affectionately known as "Benji" - sat atop his lap in a bite-sized No. 13 jersey. Darren Collinson is dishing five assists and Domantas Sabonis is grabbing nine rebounds. While it's just one game, the Boston Celtics seem to be playing with that pep in their step again, and they're one of the scariest teams in the league when playing to their full potential. The over is 5-2 in Pacers last 7 overall.
The Indiana Pacers would love to tie up this series at 1-1 before heading home for game three. He nailed his first three attempts - a 24-foot 3-pointer, a pull-up mid-range jumper, and a 26-foot 3-pointer - in addition to drawing a foul on another 3-point shot attempt. So we've just got to do the right things. "Today, he did a really good job of being spaced and being able to knock down shots".
The 12 points in the opening 12 minutes marked Morris's highest scoring output in any quarter this season. The Celtics entered the year with championship aspirations and settled for inconsistency and occasional struggles on both ends of the floor, leading to a 4-seed that barely earned them an extra home game next to the Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge in the first round. Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown combined for just 14 points on 6-for-17 (35.3 percent) shooting in the first half, so someone had to pick up the scoring slack or it was going to get ugly. "I'm just coming in trying to make an impact".
When Bogdanovic was asked about the incident following Indiana's practice on Monday (Brad Stevens and the Celtics took the day off), he downplayed the incident as nothing more than what typically happens in the heat of a playoff battle. He lauded his teammate for his ability to rejuvenate the team after its sluggish start.
The All-Star guard's first half didn't go as planned, scoring just seven points on 3-for-10 shooting with only two assists, but Irving didn't let that diminish his entire game. Defensively, we all can be in the right spots for each other and really impact and manage the game the way we want to and control the pace.
"I thought we kind of lost our way", McMillan said. Barring some extremely unforeseen events, once the Celtics make it past IN, they will face the Milwaukee Bucks, who have the NBA's best record, best point differential and, most importantly, Giannis Antetokounmpo, the league's best and most valuable player.
None of it was spent dwelling on his reserve role, one that will likely stick for the remainder of the series as long as Baynes is healthy.