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Marcus Morris, Clippers, Chris Paul, Suns

Clippers’ Marcus Morris throws shade at Chris Paul, Suns after WCF

The Los Angeles Clippers’ best season in franchise history came to an unfortunate end on Wednesday night. The Phoenix Suns blew them out, 130-103, in what was the first blowout loss of the postseason. Behind Marcus Morris’ series-high 26 points, the Clippers continued to fight until they had no fight left to give.

The loss brought forth an emotional Reggie Jackson, a reasonably content Tyronn Lue, a calm Paul George, and a mildly frustrated Morris to the podium after the game.

When it was his turn to speak, Marcus Morris began by thanking the Clippers organization, top to bottom.

“First, I want to thank the organization,” Morris started. “The Clippers are a top-notch organization. Steve Ballmer, Lawrence Frank does a great job being here for the players, putting the players first, building great atmosphere.”

Then, Morris addressed the future of this team, led by Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

“I’m excited to see what the future holds and this is something to build on,”Marcus Morris added. “We come back next year, we have a full team and come back healthy. And the schedule was unforgiving down the stretch in the playoffs. The healthiest team won. They played well. Give them a lot of credit.”

Morris clearly feels some type of way, and while it doesn’t matter, he isn’t wrong. The Suns have remained the healthiest of any team this postseason. Outside of Chris Paul missing the first two games of the Western Conference Finals due to COVID-19 and his brief stint with a shoulder injury against the Los Angeles Lakers (he didn’t miss any game with it but was limited), the Suns have had a healthy road while consistently facing shorthanded teams. They took down a Clippers team without Kawhi Leonard, Serge Ibaka, and Ivica Zubac.

Marcus Morris really felt it could’ve been the Clippers in this position right now instead of the Suns.

“It’s tough, man. It’s a lot of feelings. We played our ass off this series, could’ve went a totally different way. First couple games came down to a couple possessions that could have went our way and we’d be having a different conversation right now. But give Phoenix credit. They stayed resilient. They had a great season all year. They stayed healthy. Give them credit where credit is due.”

Morris wasn’t even the only player to verbalize how he felt about this season given that injuries robbed them of a legitimate chance at a championship. Paul George was asked how far he felt the Clippers could’ve gone had Kawhi Leonard stayed healthy.

“Oh, we would be going on,” Paul George added. “This series would’ve been a lot different. You’re talking about one of the best players in the league going out and yet we were inches away from getting to the next round so definitely it’s a ‘what if,’ but fact is we just didn’t do enough.”

Kawhi Leonard missed eight straight playoff games, including the entire Suns series. Serge Ibaka was ruled out for the season late in the Mavs series after undergoing back surgery. Ivica Zubac suffered a sprained MCL in Game 4 vs. the Suns. He’d go on to miss both Games 5 and 6. Even Marcus Morris had been dealing with the tendinitis in his knee flaring up again.

When asked about his own injury, Morris tried not to get too far into it, but confirmed that he was only at about 75 percent this series.

“It’s a tough season, down the stretch,” Morris recalled. “I just wanted to just will myself out there, just play. I came out, about 75 percent, got better as that series went. But it came at a bad time for me. Playing well coming out of the Utah series, and then me just, didn’t get me where I needed the first four games of the series.”

The Clippers will now focus their attention to free agency, where they’ll have to make decisions on the futures of Reggie Jackson, Nicolas Batum, and Kawhi Leonard. Morris, however, isn’t worried about Leonard’s future.

“We get him back next year. Yeah, I said it. We get him back next year, and we continue to go forward and keep building.”

We’ll see what the Clippers have in store next.