Former Michigan guard Darius Morris getting opportunity with Lakers with Steve Nash hurt

November 4, 2012 in Professional

By Patrick Hayes

The path to playing time for former Michigan point guard Darius Morris was not an easy one with the Lakers this season. The team brought in star Steve Nash and Morris is also battling with veterans Steve Blake and Chris Duhon for backup minutes. But with Nash injured and out for at least a few games, Morris could see some minutes. I interviewed ESPN LA Lakers writer Andy Kamenetzky for PistonPowered and asked him a question about Morris. Here’s what he said:

4. Being in Michigan, I have to ask you a Darius Morris question. Any chance he cracks the rotation for Los Angeles this season? Are the Lakers high on him as a prospect?

“Under normal circumstances, probably not. Morris obviously won’t beat out Nash, and were I to guess, probably not Steve Blake, who’s earned the confidence of Mike Brown despite his inconsistencies. However, with Nash out, Blake’s the starter and Brown opted to play Morris ahead of Chris Duhon Friday against the Clippers. The kid performed credibly (7 points, including a triple, one assist, one steal) and I imagine he’ll keep those minutes against Detroit.

“Is he truly ready? That remains to be seen.

“Morris does a fairly good job penetrating into the teeth of defenses, a skill on notably short supply among the Lakers’ perimeter players, and his mind operates like a point guard’s. However, he also has a bad habit of over-dribbling into trouble, and his jump shot isn’t reliable enough to command much respect, which can limit his effectiveness. Defensively, he hasn’t necessarily stood out. Mike Brown gave Morris a few chances during preseason, and the results were fairly erratic. But he’s got an opportunity in front of him, and will hopefully make the most of it.

“Either way, every impression I’ve gotten is that the team is high on Morris long-term. He’s got great natural size for the point (with some extra muscle added in the offseason), works hard, and has a great attitude.”

Morris and the Lakers host the Pistons tonight at 9:30 p.m.

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