The 2017 NBA playoffs are heating up in the Eastern Conference first-round playoff series featuring the Wizards vs. Hawks as Markieff Morris’ “crybaby’ remarks has excelled the play of All-Star Paul Millsap.
Tough, rugged, hard-nosed, sharp and crafty are just some of many words to describe the play of Washington Wizards power forward Markieff Morris in his NBA playoff debut. Morris scored 21 points along with seven rebounds in the Wizards’ Game 1 victory against the Atlanta Hawks.
On the other side, Hawks’ power forward Paul Millsap bore the brunt of Morris’ tough and gritty play, describing it as “MMA” in a postgame interview.
Morris, who was in good spirits after the Wizards playoff win, simply gave in to Hawks’ Paul Millsap’s “MMA” comments and fired back, suggesting the Wizards should take their MMA game up a level to “Double MMA” in Game 2.
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After that comment, Morris’ play has come crashing down and has been a non-factor in three consecutive playoff games. The Wizards and Hawks playoff series is suddenly tied at 2-2 after the Wizards jumped out to a commanding 2-0 series lead. Since scoring 21 points and hauling in seven rebounds in the Wizards’ Game 1 win, Morris has combined for just 21 points in the last three games combined.
On top of his recent stretch of poor play, Morris continues to try and get in the head of Hawks’ Paul Millsap and to simply put it, it’s not working out for Morris. In fact, Morris made himself look more foolish when he called Millsap, “a crybaby” after the Wizards were demolished by the Hawks in Game 3.
In the last three games (Game 2, 3 and 4), Millsap has significantly outplayed Morris in every way.
As the graph reveals, Millsap is outscoring, outrebounding and most importantly outplaying Morris in three consecutive games.
Morris’ antics of attempting to get in the head of the Hawks’ All-Star quickly backlashed. Millsap responded to Morris’ “Double MMA” comments with a double-double, scoring 29 points with 14 rebounds in Game 3. After the game where not only he was outplayed, but also the Wizards, Morris continued with his antics, calling out Millsap once again.
Millsap chuckled at Morris’ comments and followed up his Game 3 performance with 19 points and nine rebounds in 36 minutes of play as the Hawks evened the series 2-2. Morris’ remarks and inferior play caught the attention of the pompous Stephen A. Smith who voiced his thoughts about the situation on ESPN’s First Take:
The CSN’s Wizards Overtime crew aired their thoughts on Morris as well:
Morris has been so concerned about playing physical against Millsap that he’s committed careless fouls early in three straight games, earning him a nice seat on the bench in a time the Wizards need their starting power forward most.
Morris and the Wizards return home for Game 5 as they strive to take back the series lead before heading back south to Atlanta for Game 6 Friday, April 28.