Morris adjusting well to Patterson role

Morris adjusting well to Patterson role
December 19, 2012, 5:30 pm
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Morris on filling in for Patterson

Marcus Morris has stepped up his game while trying to fill Patrick Patterson's spot in the starting lineup.

In his two games starting as the Rockets' power forward, Morris is averaging 16 points and 4.5 rebounds.

"Patrick's a strong dude," Morris said. "(He) stretches the floor, got a lot of post moves. I'm just going out there and playing my game. We're two different type of players. I just bring a little bit of different stuff to the table. At the same time, I need to replace the rebounding and scoring a little."

While Morris has done well on the offensive end, it's clear he and the coaches realize there's work to be done to become a more complete player.

"There's a reason that experience matters," Kevin McHale said. "There's a growing phase. Marcus is doing a really nice job, but he's got to work on his defense. He's got to be able to guard against a bigger guy, be more physical early, push him off a little bit. There's a lot of stuff that he's going to have to learn to try to play that spread four because it's OK when you're playing other small forwards. It's a big difference when you're playing bigger and more physical guys."

It should also be noted that Morris has significantly improved his three-point production in this 2012-'13 season. After making 2-17 (11.8 percent) from the outside in his rookie year, Morris is firing at a 37.7-percent clip from distance this year.