BOSTON — Markieff Morris has needed round-the-clock treatment after spraining his left ankle during the Washington Wizards‘ 123-111 loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Sunday afternoon. However, Morris announced he will be ready for Game 2 on Tuesday night.
“I’m playing tomorrow. It’s final,” Morris said with conviction Monday afternoon. “There’s nothing the doctors can say to me for me not to be able to play.”
Morris attempted a jump shot in the second quarter and landed on the foot of Celtics forward Al Horford. Morris immediately was in great pain and gingerly left the court. When asked if he felt Horford had undercut him — a dangerous play in which a player moves his foot to the landing spot of his opponent — Morris responded: “I’m not sure. I’m [going to] ask him though.”
“I’ve looked at it a couple times,” Morris said about the replay of the injury. “It’s not really that pretty so, couldn’t really watch it too much.”
Although Morris made his declaration to play in Game 2 while his ankle received shocks from an electronic muscle stimulator, he still sounded bold and clear. Wizards Coach Scott Brooks, however, expressed much more reticence while discussing Morris’s status.
“He’s had treatments all day yesterday and last night and same thing this morning. Just see how he feels game to game,” Brooks said. “I don’t want to make any call on anything right now. I just know he’s going to get treatments all day today. I’m sure he’s going to do the same thing tomorrow.
“It’s a sprain and our medical team will all get together and do what’s best for him,” Brooks said, “but right now he’s out until we see how he feels tomorrow.”
Through seven games in the playoffs, Morris averaged 10.3 points and 5.1 rebounds per game but the Wizards missed his defensive presence against Boston’s big men who can shoot. The Celtics pelted Washington with six three-pointers in the third quarter en route to scoring 36 points, and the onslaught decided the game.
“Just our ability to switch with everybody and kind of contain them from driving,” Morris said. “They shot the three really well against us. So you know, just being able to switch screens so Horford won’t be open at the top of the key.”
The third quarter and the losing result have likely motivated Morris to return quickly. According to Morris, the team consulted with a doctor who informed him the ankle was not broken. This specialist, Morris said, has given him “the leeway” to make the decision to play.
“I’m feeling better, man,” Morris said. “I’m just going to keep treating it and get ready for Game 2.”