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Marcus Morris vows to bring “some soul” back to the Celtics, Aron Baynes closes in on return

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Friday’s shootaround showed that Boston still has plenty of confidence for the stretch run.

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Boston Celtics Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

BRIGHTON - The Boston Celtics held their first morning shootaround in months on Friday at the Auerbach Center, ahead of their matchup with the Washington Wizards later tonight. The team has elected to go with pregame walkthroughs at TD Garden for home games this year, in place of morning shootarounds. Head coach Brad Stevens said he felt the Celtics could benefit from a get-together this morning.

“Being off yesterday and having a bad taste in our mouth from the last few - I thought it was important to get together and go through some things in some greater depth,” said Stevens. “When you do it in the morning, you can spend a little bit more time on offensive review. You can do a little bit more with your breakdowns than you can if you just meet at the gym.”

Stevens was able to give an update on center Aron Baynes following the team’s shootaround. He said that the big man is improving each day and continues to close in on his return to the floor.

“He did a hard workout and came out great from that on Wednesday,” said Stevens when asked about Baynes. “Today is his next... hopefully, final step, but we’ll see.” He added that Baynes was going to go through some one-on-one drills at some point today.

While Baynes works his way back to the court, Marcus Morris said on Friday that he’s going to bring some soul back to the Celtics, who are in need of getting their swagger back. Morris has dealt with some struggles of his own, but added that he can’t let that impact his energy or leadership.

“When it rains it pours,” said Morris. “I’ve been always been one of those guys that always stands above all that and continue to be professional and you know, when its time to spark something, and shit, that time is now. ... Time to get that swag back.”

Despite Boston’s on-floor issues, Morris remains confident that they’ll be able to get things together for the stretch run. He said that he takes it upon himself to be a better leader, bring more energy, and “bring some soul back to this shit, man”.

Friday morning’s shootaround was extremely loose and relaxed, with players messing around with one another following the workout. This was definitely a welcome sign as the Celtics are looking to end their season-long four-game losing streak.

More video from shootaround can be seen below, including Jaylen Brown discussing what advice he receives from Danny Ainge and Daniel Theis’ injury update.

The Celtics and Wizards tip off tonight from TD Garden at 8:00 PM EST.