Celtics F Morris to miss opener vs. Cavs

(Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)

(TSX / STATS) -- Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris will miss Tuesday's season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers due to right knee soreness, Boston coach Brad Stevens said on Sunday.

Morris will miss at least the first couple weeks of the regular season, according to Stevens. He played just 11 minutes in the preseason due to the knee woes and because he was away on trial in Phoenix for aggravated assault. He was acquitted.

"With him getting here a little bit late, we feel like he needs a little more of a preseason," Stevens said. "He will most likely be out here for the coming week-plus and then we will re-evaluate after that. They've done all the testing and, structurally, the knee is in good shape.

"But I think it is a quick turnaround to get here last week and play in a regular-season game. It's going to be a little bit of time probably before he hits the court again."

The loss of Morris will require some lineup shuffling as the 28-year-old was the player in line to guard Cleveland star LeBron James. First-round pick Jayson Tatum may end up with the starting assignment in his first NBA game.

Morris was acquired in the offseason from the Detroit Pistons, a less-publicized acquisition than signing free agent forward Gordon Hayward (formerly of the Utah Jazz) and landing point guard Kyrie Irving from Cleveland.

Morris averaged 14 points and 4.6 rebounds in 79 games last season.

The deal for Irving included star guard Isaiah Thomas being shipped to the Cavaliers and has helped make the opener a highly anticipated contest even as Irving attempted to downplay his return to Cleveland during Sunday's media availability.

"The excitement and the energy is there but I think everything extra has been created by outside influence," said Irving, who helped the Cavaliers down the Celtics in last season's Eastern Conference finals. "So that's neither here nor there. I don't know what that reality is. I don't necessarily concern myself with that because, if I do, I'd really be doing myself a disservice and my teammates a disservice of trying to figure out whether or not I want to give some distractions or specific people energy in terms of what they're saying or what they think about what's going on.

"Everyone's entitled to an opinion. I respect it. But it's my job to go out there and be the best I can be for my teammates and ultimately try to win every single game and put myself and my teammates in a great position to win. It's going to happen regardless. That's just the nature of the business. I understand that. But that reality, I leave that for other people."

Updated October 15, 2017