Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Marcus Morris said his decision to hit Justin Anderson in the head with a ball early in the second half of the Knicks' preseason win over the Wizards was "unprofessional" and "a bad move."
Morris received a flagrant-2 foul on the play. The sequence started when Morris hit Anderson in the head with an elbow when he swung his arms through to create space. He then hit Anderson with the ball.
Morris said afterward Anderson said something to provoke him, though he didn't use that to excuse his reaction. He and the Wizards forward had to be separated after the play.
"I just kind of overreacted a little bit," Morris said after New York's 104-99 win. "… At the end of the day you never want to get thrown out of a game. There are different ways to go about different things and setting tone. It's preseason so something to learn from. I'm happy it's preseason. Things happen and it escalated."
Morris, a ninth-year veteran, said earlier in the week that he wanted New York to have the identity of the 90s Knicks teams -- tough clubs that didn't back down from their opponents.
Morris referenced that when talking about the incident.
"Like I said in the beginning, we're not taking no s--t. So it is what it is," he said.
Knicks coach David Fizdale seemed to appreciate Morris' intensity but doesn't want to see his players get kicked out of a game.
"That's Marcus Morris," Fizdale said. "Our team will embody his spirit. Obviously he understands it can't be to the detriment of us. He didn't want to hurt the kid. He just told me, 'I shouldn't have made that play.' At the same time, he does have an edge to him and we want to keep that edge."
After being ejected in a preseason game tonight, Marcus Morris has a message on behalf of the Knicks:- SNY (@SNYtv) October 8, 2019
"We not taking no s**t" pic.twitter.com/AjMUwG8J4m
"If that was regular season I wouldn't have done that. My team needs me," Morris said. "I've got to be smart."
An NBA official said that if Morris is suspended, he would serve the suspension during the Knicks' season-opener in San Antonio, not the next preseason game.
Morris was phenomenal in the first half against Washington, scoring 17 points and seven rebounds as the Knicks' starting small forward.
BARRETT SHOWS HE'S A 'PLAYER': Fizdale was impressed by R.J. Barrett's debut. After missing his first four 3-point attempts, Barrett got going in the third quarter. He had nine points and two assists to help the Knicks re-build a lead against Washington.
"That's a player," Fizdale said of Barrett. "When you have a guy who really has belief in himself and doesn't lose confidence, doesn't waver. He's always engaged in the game and he's always going to feel like he can get it going."
"When the lights are on, this kid has an edge to him" - David Fizdale on RJ Barrett pic.twitter.com/R72TprCGGh- Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) October 8, 2019
Barrett said he didn't feel any pressure early in his first NBA game and he remained engaged on the defensive end.
"I just played defense and let the game come to me," Barrett said of his third quarter. "My teammates were finding me. As I kept scoring, they kept finding me, kept making plays and getting stops. It was fun to be out there."
Barrett said the venue of Monday's game was significant because his Duke team lost to Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament on the Wizards' home floor.
"It was good to kind of redeem myself," he said.
Barrett finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists in 39 minutes. Fizdale intimated that Barrett may play 35-plus minutes regularly this season.
"He's 19 and he's got to play. It's the same thing I did with Kevin (Knox in his rookie season)," Fizdale said. "These guys have to play, they have to see situations, they have to feel out the game. But at the same time I wanted to keep him out there because he was playing so well."
"Who wouldn't?!?"- Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) October 8, 2019
Sign RJ Barrett up for 39 mintues played every night 😆 pic.twitter.com/t6pFO3CeXi