Following a three-game stretch where he accrued just 18 total points, Wizards power forward Markieff Morris was summoned by head coach Scott Brooks on Friday morning for a one-on-one film session ahead of their matchup with the Detroit Pistons.
Brooks had reviewed the tape on the Wizards' off-day on Thursday and had a few things he wanted to point out. Morris, in Brooks' opinion, was not his usual self, not the guy he had seen at times over the past few weeks and certainly not the player he had coached last season.
"He was showing me clips of last year and how I played last year," Morris said. "Basically, I was just playing three-point line to three-point line... he told me my activity was low and I stand around the three-point line too much."
Instead of bullying opponents with his aggression in the pain, Morris was tentative and instead relying on outside jumpers.
Those shots weren't falling and, with John Wall already out, his lack of offensive production was magnified.
Brooks needed a change from Morris and against the Pistons he got it.
Morris hit his first three shots and had seven points in his first eight minutes. He finished with a season-high 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting with seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks.
Markieff Morris slams it home on the fastbreak. pic.twitter.com/gCxfw7fcQD— NBC Sports Wizards (@NBCSWizards) December 2, 2017
Morris also helped contain Pistons' leading scorer Tobias Harris to 15 points and two rebounds, below his season averages. It was Morris' best game of the season by a good margin and it came at a good time for a Wizards team which had lost five of their last seven entering the matchup.
"I felt good. It was about time I had a good game, man," Morris said after the 109-91 win. So, that film session did the trick, right?
Another feather in the cap of Coach Brooks?
"No, not at all," Brooks joked when asked if he was the reason.
"He came out with the force that I saw many times last year. By playing hard, it gives you a chance to play well. I thought he did that tonight. He's coming back from his surgery. I think that's behind him. He knows that with John out, we're down a man and he doesn't have to take over the scoring, but participate and get involved in more of the scoring."
The surgery may be behind Morris, but he's not fully back to form. Morris is still dealing with discomfort in his left ankle stemming from the Wizards' playoff series against the Celtics in May. He hasn't fully regained his explosiveness, but he's getting there.
"Hell no," Morris said when asked if he's 100 percent. "[I'm at] 85 or 90. It takes some time. I came back three weeks before I was supposed to."