Darius Morris Impresses in Preseason Debut


The Los Angeles Lakers are desperate for an upgrade at the point. How desperate are they? Well, until he agreed to terms with the Knicks Baron Davis was viewed as an improvement for the Lake Show. That is how dire the situation is.

No disrespect to Steve Blake but he’s not the answer. If he is, I’d hope the question wasn’t “who will hold the fate of the Lakers’ season in his hands?”

Last night Darius Morris got a chance to put his game on display thanks to Derek Fisher’s coach-mandated absence from the game. Forget trying to make the roster, Morris showed enough to threaten stealing a few minutes from the veterans in front of him.

The L.A. native made some headlines by opting to depart the University of Michigan after two years of college hoops. When the Lakers took Morris in round 2 it was viewed as a project. The deadline on that project might just have been pushed up.

Morris made enough plays to warrant more looks going forward. To be sure the rookie had plenty of moments only NBA newbies endure also.

Defensively Morris was the man wearing the bullseye. Chris Paul and Mo Williams took turns schooling the rook whenever the opportunity presented itself.

However Morris showed the type of self confidence necessary to make it in the NBA. Never shy about his shot, Morris sank a few Js that might not have been the wisest of choices yet none the less found the bottom of the bucket.

His decision making is clearly something that must also improve. But that is true of all rookie point guards. Morris showed a willingness to push the tempo whenever he got the rock in transition. That is a valuable quality for a Laker team in need of an offensive makeover. The man nicknamed “Wheels” by Mike Brown also dropped a couple of nice dimes.

Overall it was a nice coming out party for Morris…well…expect for the lopsided loss.

Going forward it will be on Morris to keep grinding. His odds of making the roster might have increased but in the end it could be a numbers game depending on how Coach Brown builds his roster. Morris could definitely benefit from getting some burn in the D-League but the Lakers are also in need of some of the things Morris brings to the table.

Coach Brown saw plenty of positives in what Darius did last night. He also saw some of those rookie mistakes that plague first year players. Most importantly is that overall the coach was impressed.