DETROIT, MI – Monte Morris finally made his Detroit Pistons debut against the Charlotte Hornets in a 113-106 win after missing the first 43 games of the season. After a trade in the offseason that brought the Flint, MI native home, injuries have derailed his opportunities to see the court. Though he’s made many contributions off the court in the Flint and Detroit communities, many fans have eagerly waited to see what he can do on it.
And Morris was just as eager for this moment he could barely contain the excitement.
“Last night it was hard for me to sleep,” Morris stated when asked about his anticipation for return.
He only played twelve minutes as what’s presumed a precaution in his first game back. But scored 7 points on 3 of 4 shooting and connected from behind the arc on his only three point attempt. But as he’s moving into a veteran role in his NBA career, he’s finding many ways to contribute.
Another underrated attribute for Morris is how he mentors the players still learning the game like Marcus Sasser and Jaden Ivey.
“It was cool,” Morris said of his first game back. “When I came out the game they (Sasser, Killian Hayes, and Ivey) were talking about how I was directing and playing the game. Whatever role I have to do, you know I will do to the best of my ability.“
Morris couldn’t keep a smile off his face the entire post game press conference. Especially with how much sentiment goes into returning after missing half the season, playing for your child hood team and getting a win.
“I feel good! I was so hype on on the bench. It’s fun and contagious when you’re happy for the next guy and not worried about yourself. We have more wins to go and once we get Cade back it’s going to be a whole different dynamic.”
Monty Williams was just as excited for Morris’ return, and the team taking another step toward being completely healthy. Williams has desired more of a veteran player on this Pistons team that’s had to rely on mostly players on rookie contract deals. Veteran players bring a savvy, experience and knowledge of the game that definitely helps in game situations. But it also provides another presence the young players can look up to, and learn from.
Marcus Sasser has been on record as early as last month stating: “I’m still trying to learn the NBA game.”
So getting another veteran like Monte Morris in the mix can only pay positive dividends.
“Morris as a threat to knock down shots is big for us,” coach Williams said. “But his poise and experience is something we desperately need. I thought the combination between morris and Sasser was great because Morris is more methodical and Sasser is like lightning in a bottle.”
Overall it was a good night for the Pistons and Monte Morris, especially in a season where wins have been difficult to come by. But as a veteran player, Morris see’s room for improvement and knows things will get better for he and the team.
“The game was normal but I have to get better with play calls. I know the plays but I feel I can perfect them. This is just the beginning. I can get better. I will get better.”
Other Game Notes
- Bojan Bogdanovic led the Detroit Pistons with 34 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.
- Jalen Duren had an effective game scoring 14 points and 8 rebounds. But pulled down two crucial rebounds and had a big dunk in the final minutes of the game.
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Photo Credit: Brandon Dent – Woodward Sports Network