Markieff Morris trying to add three-point touch to physical reputation


In today’s NBA, the power forward position has largely been replaced with the stretch four. Each season there are fewer and fewer traditional, old-school, physical bangers at the four; more and more they are players who can spread the floor and get out in transition.

The Wizards’ Markieff Morris is a bit of a throwback — he’s physical. He sets hard screens, he bangs inside on defense, he brings a little intimidation to the court.

But he sees the way the NBA is going, so he is trying to be more of a three-point threat, as he told Candace Buckner at the Washington Post.

“It’s kind of like you have no choice now with the way the league is,” Morris said. “You got to be able to make that shot at the four. I’ve been working all summer trying to get better at it, continuing to get better at it.”

Morris shot 30.3 percent from three last season (split between Phoenix and Washington). This season he’s shooting 33 percent in the preseason, although a massive small sample size warning must be applied here. Morris said he feels more comfortable at the arc, we’ll see if that happens as the games get real. But if his footwork is better he will hit more shots.

Morris’ development is one of the many questions around the Wizards that makes them challenging to predict. Does Bradley Beal stay healthy? Do John Wall and Beal find better chemistry? Can Otto Porter take a step forward? How much can Tomas Satoransky contribute? What will Scott Brooks bring to the table?

It’s going to be an interesting season in our nation’s capital — even after the election.