It’s no secret that the Brooklyn Nets’ played defense like they were a New York metro turnstile. No matter how strong you are on offense, great teams win a championship when they can get stops when it matters most.
When Markieff Morris joined the team this summer, the Philly-bred forward seemed determMorris’ instill some grit and grind into Brooklyn’s DNA. Last season, Morris averaged 10.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game on 44.6 percent shooting from the field and 34.1 percent from beyond the arc. Morris is healthy and ready to go after suffering a season-ending neck injury against the Nuggets 17 games into the season.
Morris has already developed a reputation as an enforcer in the League. He will look to reprise the role on the veteran-laden Nets led by Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Ben Simmons. They all have something to prove after a mediocre season that saw the team fall short of its championship aspirations and a dramatic offseason full of trade demands and ultimatums.
“Yeah, I agree with what [Kevin Durant] said,” Morris said Tuesday at Nets training camp. “They were soft, just point-blank period. When we played up against them, they were soft. Just go right in their chest. That’s what we did.”
Morris believes that the solution resides in the Nets playing hard and physically.
“Just go out there and play hard, knock somebody on the ground. Kick them in their ass, see if they’ll get up. Then you’ll know.”
Morris and the Nets will have a chance to test Morris’ theory out once the Nets start their season on Oct. 19 against the New Orleans Pelicans.