Markieff Morris Suffers Ankle Injury in Game 1 vs. Celtics

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 10: Markieff Morris #5 of the Washington Wizards reacts against the Indiana Pacers during the second half at Verizon Center on February 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Washington Wizards forward Markieff Morris suffered an ankle injury in Sunday's game against the Boston Celtics, and the team has announced he will not return.

Morris said he will play in Game 2 and that the Wizards wanted him to sit for the rest of Game 1 after the injury, per Jeff Goodman of ESPN.

Morris had five points in 11 minutes in Game 1 against the Celtics but seemingly tweaked his ankle on a foul by Al Horford.

Following an up-and-down stint with the Phoenix Suns, Morris has made himself at home in the nation's capital under head coach Scott Brooks. 

Morris averaged 14.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game in his first full season with the Wizards. He also knocked down 45.7 percent of his shots from the field, including 36.2 percent from three. 

"I see a guy with incredible talent, with very good work ethic. He’s a great, great teammate. A guy who has been called one time a cancer, a team cancer," center Marcin Gortat said, per the Washington Post's Candace Buckner. "And I would love to have a team cancer like that any day in a game with me. He came here and he’s taking us to the playoffs right now."

Since Morris has been instrumental in the Wizards' turnaround, losing him for any sort of extended stretch would be detrimental to the team's hopes of making a deep playoff run. 

Should Morris be forced out of the lineup, Jason Smith is the most logical replacement since he's more of a conventional 4, but Otto Porter and Kelly Oubre could wind up seeing plenty of run in place of Morris if the Wizards decide smaller lineups work to their advantage. 

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