One of the more underrated moves the Los Angeles Lakers made was adding Markieff Morris after he was bought out by the Detroit Pistons. The Lakers waived DeMarcus Cousins and signed Morris to a contract for the remainder of the season.
He appeared in a handful of games for Los Angeles before the 2019-20 season was suspended back in March. The timing was unfortunate as the forward was deprived of floor time to get acclimated with his new teammates.
Although the Lakers reported to Orlando on July 9, it was later revealed that Morris did not make the trip. However, it appears he has since arrived and after clearing quarantine will begin working out.
“Once he arrives, I believe the protocol is he’s got to clear two negative tests and quarantine for 36 to 48 hours,” Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said. “So it will be a couple days after he arrives before we’re able to see him and get him out on the court.
“Obviously, we’re going to be smart about building him up at the right pace. We don’t want to put him in a position to be injured. He has been out and not competing with the team for a while, sow we’ll just take it day by day and be intelligent with it.”
Morris was reportedly granted an excused absence, but now must comply with the league’s quarantine protocols before joining the rest of the Lakers on the practice floor. His presence should help and the upcoming scheduled games will be a good opportunity for him to integrate with his teammates.
L.A. has their first scrimmage game Thursday and then play every other day. It stands to reason the majority of Morris’ time on the court may have to come in practices before seeding games begin.
Vogel praises players for being able to adjust to schedule
With so much time off, Vogel was concerned about his players’ conditioning and how they would look after so much time away from basketball.
Since getting to the bubble, the head coach has been carefully planning practices and scaling how hard to push the Lakers as they work to get back into shape. However, he voiced how pleased he has been with their ability to adapt to the changing schedule.
“I want to credit our sports performance team and assistant coaches. I feel really good with the pace we’ve tried to restart with our group,” Vogel said. “The amount of load they’re getting with each practice, I think has been done at an intelligent level. Hopefully we can continue that.”
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