Markieff Morris returned to the Wizards' starting lineup on Friday night, giving Washington their best power forward just in time to face a Detroit Pistons team that features a lot of beef in the middle with guys like Andre Drummond and Tobias Harris down low. It also gave Morris a rare opportunity to face off with another NBA player he knows quite well.
That would be Marcus Morris, his twin brother whom he played with both in college at Kansas University and in the NBA with the Phoenix Suns. Markieff and Marcus were both in their respective starting lineups and found themselves guarding each other from time to time throughout the night.
Their matchup was highlighted by a play in the third quarter that saw Marcus taking it hard to the rim on a fastbreak. Markieff met him there and blocked his shot out of bounds, sending Marcus down to the ground in a heap under the basket. Markieff then helped Marcus up and the two shared a laugh.
It was a moment of levity in an otherwise heated battle and it brought some pretty great quotes from the postgame locker room, including Markieff describing what their mother was probably thinking watching the play.
"She just sits there and watches it. I know she said I was probably going to hurt her baby when I knocked him down," he said.
Markieff and Marcus chatted for a moment before the next play. Markieff said his brother thought it was a foul:
"He could have got the foul; [I] wish he had got the foul."
Markieff's teammates found the whole dynamic entertaining.
"That was funny. I just wanted to see what would happen after the play," John Wall said.
"Kief said that's his dog, but he still had to do what had to be done. So, no hard feelings in here," said Bradley Beal, whose brother played Division I basketball. "At this level I can only imagine what that's like [to play your brother]. That's probably an amazing feeling. I definitely know the hype and the competitiveness behind the game, too."
Markieff and Marcus have played against each other plenty of times before, but they are still more used to playing together. For so many years they were on the same team, now they are adversaries on teams jockeying for position in the Eastern Conference.
That doesn't mean he can't wish his brother well.
"I just want to see him do good. Again, as long as we win, he can do good. And we won, it’s cool," Markieff said.
Markieff got the win and had the better night with 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Marcus scored just two points and shot 1-of-8 from the field.
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