Back on January 3rd, RGV Vipers point guard Darius Morris was able to celebrate his 26th birthday by standing as one of the more reliable point guards in the NBA D-League. In the weeks leading up to his birthday, Morris was putting up 18.1 points, 5 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game on 46% from the field and 34% from beyond the arc. Morris’ leadership helped push the RGV Vipers to maintain a respectable 13-8 record which allowed them to be the 3rd best squad in the NBA D-League.
Most players, whether they’re in college, D-League or NBA, would be perfectly satisfied with standing as a major contributor on one of the best squads in that team’s given league. However, Morris isn’t like most players. Since blowing out the candles on his birthday cake, Morris has been a mission to not only establish as one of the best PG’s in the D_League, but also as a viable NBA call-up candidate.
Over the last two months, Morris has just absolutely erupted in ways that few D-Leaguers are able to do. Averaging 22.9 points, 8.2 assists, 5 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game on 45% from the field, Morris has stood as arguably the best backcourt threat in the D-League during that time, as he’s in the top-5 in assists (3rd) and points (4th) among active guards in the NBADL.
Probably the biggest reason behind Morris being so outstanding during those last two months is that he’s just extremely comfortable with being a pass-first point guard. While his high scoring average might say otherwise, Morris seems more focused on getting his fellow RGV Vipers involved in the action rather than helping his own stat line. That mindset from Morris definitely makes sense as the 6’4 guard is surrounded by a slew of talented offensive weapons.
From the jump, Morris has been spectacular in figuring out how to help his teammates reach their full on-court potential. An example of that is seen from how Morris has developed a terrific relationship with Rockets prospect Chinanu Onuaku.
Within pick-and-rolls, Morris has consistently been able to connect with the incredibly mobile Onuaku for a slew of rim-rocking alley-oops. Coinciding with those highlight-reel plays, Morris has done a beautiful job of utilizing his skills as an on-ball cutter to capture the attention of the defense before dishing it off to an open Onuaku. An example of that relationship is seen in the play below.
After spending time with five separate NBA teams since he entered the league in 2011, Morris would seem to stand as a known quantity that should stand on the outside looking wen it comes to making an NBA return. However, his recent success with the Vipers might push some teams to give some second thoughts about his standing as a potential call-up candidate. Over the last two months, Morris has established himself as arguably the best facilitator in the D-League while also showcasing a knack as an on-ball cutter and mid-range shooter.
While he may stand as one of the more experienced guards in the NBA D-League, it seems like the best is still yet to come for Darius Morris.