Wizards' Markieff Morris responds to Millsap's MMA comment

If Atlanta Hawks All-Star forward Paul Millsap thought the Washington Wizards "were playing MMA" in Game 1, Markieff Morris says Millsap might want to brace for things to come in Game 2.

"Just see where he's at now," Morris said, according to The Washington Post, in response to Millsap's comments after Game 1. "I guess if that's MMA, then what we do next might be double MMA."

Morris helped Washington take the series opener 114-107 with 21 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks. Millsap was visibly frustrated at times during the game with the Wizards' physical play and said after the loss that "the difference in the game was we were playing basketball and they were playing MMA."

Morris says the Wizards will only intensify their physical play.

"They said we [were] wrestling so I guess they don't have a choice but to come out and play tougher," Morris told reporters at the Wizards' morning shootaround, according to The Post. "It is what is. We ain't going to stop our intensity because of what they say. We're going to keep playing as hard as possible and playoff basketball."

Despite the fact that Millsap felt the officials let the Wizards get away with physical play, Atlanta went to the free throw line 39 times compared to Washington's 17 trips in Game 1. Millsap, who finished with 19 points, made 9-of-11 from the free throw line. By comparison, Washington's John Wall went to the line a total of six times, and no other Wizard shot more than three free throws in the game.

"It's the playoffs, man," Morris said. "They shot 39 free throws. How much more do you want? I guess if we're playing MMA, they're giving y'all the fouls. So you know, that didn't change. We just want to stay aggressive. That's all we want to do. Not worry about what they're saying."

Wall added: "Yeah, totally, c'mon. We shot what, something [like] 17 free throws? To [their] 39. If we [were] playing MMA, it looked like they got most of the calls. We didn't."

Atlanta center Dwight Howard said he welcomes more physical play.

"It's fine," Howard told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "If they allowed both teams to play as physical, I would love that. We have to continue to play no matter what happens. We can't get involved with the refs or anything like that. We just have to focus in on what we can control. If we play hard, we should win the game."

Millsap didn't want to get caught up in a back-and-forth with Morris on and off the court. The two exchanged words at the end of the first half of Game 1 while Wall and Hawks point guard Dennis Schroder also traded verbal jabs.

"I think it's important that we control the other two guys, [Bradley] Beal and Wall," Millsap said Monday according to the Journal-Constitution. "They are extensive scorers. I'm not going to turn this into a personal battle between me and Morris.

"That's what he wants me to do, take all the focus off the team and put it on him. I'm not going to do that. I've been in the league too long. It's about the team and stopping those two guys, the head of the snake which is John Wall, and we'll give ourselves a really good chance to win."

Morris, who added that he's a MMA fan, heard about Millsap's comments about keeping the focus on Wall and Beal. Wall had 32 points and 14 assists, while Beal added 22 points.

"I heard Millsap saying they don't want Brad and John to score as much and they want to let us [other Wizards] score -- basically is what he's saying," Morris said according to The Post. "We're going to adjust to that real well. We're going to stay physical and stay playing MMA basketball.

"I'm worried about my team," Morris added. "It ain't between me and him [Millsap]. I'm worried about winning. That's it. I could care less what he says."