Shane Larkin

Marcus Morris evaluates his job defending LeBron: 'I did a (expletive) job'

Marcus Morris evaluates his job defending LeBron: 'I did a (expletive) job'

CLEVELAND – There was plenty of blame pie to go around the Boston Celtics following their 116-86 Game 3 beating by Cleveland. 

But no Celtic seemed to be taking ownership of his role in the defeat, more than Marcus Morris who acknowledged his poor play particularly on defending LeBron James.

“Personally, I did a (expletive) job defensively against LeBron,” Morris told reporters following Boston’s Sunday afternoon practice at Quicken Loans Arena. “He (James) was just too comfortable when I was guarding him.”

In the first two games of this series, James was just 8-for-23 shooting (34.8 percent) with a total of 22 points with 13 assists and five turnovers when defended by Morris. 

On Saturday, James tallied 14 points when defended by Morris on 5-for-9 shooting according to, along with five assists and just one turnover.


As the team poured over the film from Saturday night’s loss, there were several contributors to one of the worst losses ever under fifth-year coach Brad Stevens.

Morris knows this. 

But he also knows that how he fares against James will go a long way in determining whether the Celtics can emerge victorious in Game 4 which would then put them one win away from a trip to the NBA Finals. Despite his struggles against James on Saturday, Morris and the rest of the Celtics haven’t lost any faith that when all is said and done, things will work out for him and the Celtics.

“Very confident. Very confident,” Morris said when asked about the team’s level of confidence right now. 

“I’m 100 percent sure it won’t be the same (Celtics) team on Monday,” Morris said.

LINEUP CHANGE? Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens won’t rule out making a change to the team’s starting lineup for Game 4 on Monday. If there is a change, it would likely involve Marcus Morris returning to the bench while being replaced by Aron Baynes or potentially Semi Ojeleye. A case can be made for why Stevens would start either guy. In Baynes, Boston would have Al Horford matched up against Kevin Love while Baynes would have to battle with Tristan Thompson underneath the rim. Such a move would also bolster Boston’s bench with the return of Morris to the second unit.

LARKIN PROGRESS: Shane Larkin's left shoulder injury suffered continues to improve, but there's still no timetable for when he'll be healthy enough to return to the Celtics lineup. Following Boston’s practice on Sunday, Larkin and a member of the Celtics’ training staff were playing catch with several feet of space in between them. While it’s certainly a good sign to see Larkin throwing the ball with some distance, he remains highly unlikely to play in this series.  



Stevens: Celtics likely without Larkin for series

Stevens: Celtics likely without Larkin for series

Celtics backup point guard Shane Larkin won't play in Games 1 and 2 and is likely out for all of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, C's coach Brad Stevens told reporters on Saturday. The series opens Sunday at TD Garden.

Larkin sprained his left shoulder when he collided with the Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid in the first half of the Celtics' Game 4 loss in Philly. 

Marcus Smart will continue to back up Terry Rozier at point guard with Larkin out. 



Shane Larkin remains optimistic in the face of adversity

Shane Larkin remains optimistic in the face of adversity

BOSTON – Shane Larkin is optimistic.

You have to be when you’ve traveled as complicated a road playing professionally as he has.

While disappointed with his left shoulder injury suffered in Boston’s Game 4 loss at Philadelphia, Larkin remains hopeful that his injury will heal enough to where he can contribute at some point during Boston’s upcoming Eastern Conference finals series against Cleveland.

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“I’m not ruling anything out,” said Larkin in an interview with NBC Sports Boston and the Boston Globe. “It’s still fresh, it’s still sore. I can’t really do much. It’s frustrating but you have to stay positive.”

Larkin added, “It’s just an unfortunate thing.”

Especially when it appears Larkin’s season could potentially be over now.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said he did not anticipate Larkin back anytime soon.

Surgery at this point is not an option being seriously considered.

“Not from anything we’ve been told, but he got hit pretty good,” Stevens said. “The imaging suggested surgery probably won’t be needed.”

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While Larkin hasn’t put up big numbers for Boston, there’s no mistaking the fact that he has been an X-factor in a few games this season by tipping the scales of success in Boston’s favor with his play-making and surprisingly solid defense.

“That’s something that just kind of came after a while,” Larkin said in an earlier interview with NBC Sports Boston. “Every team has scorers, but not every team has guys who want to defend and do so at a high level.  That’s kind of where I’m at now.”

And the Celtics clearly benefited from that aspect of his game.

“He’s done a lot of great things for us all year and through the playoffs,” Stevens said of Larkin. “So, it’s a bummer for him. That’s where you always start in these scenarios. And then we’ll figure it out.”