BOSTON — Marcus Morris will get his wish.
The power forward brought to Boston in a trade last summer will start Game 1 against LeBron James and the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals. Morris boldly announced after Saturday’s practice that he felt he was “probably the best guy in the league to defend him, outside Kawhi (Leonard).”
Brad Stevens made the official announcement two hours before tip Sunday.
“I’ve said this before, I think Baynes, we’ve done this with Baynes all year in certain match-ups, and he knew when we got together on whatever day it was that that was the most likely scenario, so he didn’t even step on the floor with the first group,” Stevens said. “He knows that obviously [Love] at the five is a unique coverage, and then just as many versatile guys out there as possible to guard LeBron and the other guys on the court.”
Then Stevens brought up exactly why he feels so comfortable making the move. Aron Baynes has been receptive to whatever Stevens feels is the best move and in the Eastern Conference finals that mentality hasn’t changed.
“You know, I’ve said this not enough times, that you can’t have better leaders than Al (Horford) and Baynes. Like you can’t. They’re both our two oldest players. They are totally selfless. They are totally in it for the team. They wrap their arms around young guys. The young guys feel ownership with them. Like it’s as good as it gets.
“So being able to take him in and out of the lineup has been a — it’s set a great example for everybody else, so when a guy like Jaylen [Brown] is coming off injury last series, he just knows that sometimes that’s just part of it. Sometimes you don’t start the next game, and I think that’s a really good situation to be in, and it’s due to the leadership of those guys.”