Markieff Morris Better With Marcus Aboard?

Mar 20, 2011; Tulsa, OK, USA; Kansas Jayhawks forwards Marcus Morris (22) and Markieff Morris (21) during a game against the Illinois Fighting Illini in the second half during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men

Markieff Morris was drafted 13th overall by the Phoenix Suns in the 2011 NBA draft. His brother, Marcus was taken with the following pick by the Houston Rockets. The brothers have played together their entire lives and after nearly two seasons spent apart, they’re finally back together and Markieff’s game seems to be improving as a result.

“I’m super excited,” Markieff said after discovering the trade that sent Marcus to Phoenix. “It can’t get no better for me. This is what I definitely wanted from the beginning, to be the same as college. I’m just excited to be able to play with him again. Honestly, all of this has been a dream to me. God is blessing it to be better and better for me and him.”

One of Markieff’s biggest struggles in the NBA thus far has been his inefficiency offensively which is reflected in his field goal percentage of 40 throughout the first 120 games of his career. Markieff shot the three ball respectively last season as he made nearly 35% of his three-pointers, but this season, he’s shooting merely 29% from beyond the arc.

Since the Suns acquired Marcus Morris five games ago, Markieff Morris’ on-court production has improved tremendously. Over the past five-games Markieff is averaging 10.6 points, 4.8 rebounds but most astonishingly, he’s made 47% of his shot attempts and 40% of his three-point attempts.

Markieff Morris seems much more comfortable on the court over the last five games with his brother around, and his production has improved as a result. Granted, his 47% shooting is hardly standard for a power-forward, but hey! Baby steps….

“We always push each other and have each other’s back,” Markieff said. “This is definitely a power move for us. I think we’re going to get better from here. It’s something we always talked about. This is unbelievable.”

Markieff’s woeful shooting percentage is mainly due to his shot-selection. According to 82games.com, 71% of Markieff’s shot attempts are jump-shots, and the unfortunate part of all of this is that he’s only making about 35% of his jumpers. However, Markieff makes nearly 62% of his shot attempts inside 10-feet, unfortunately, only 29% of his shot attempts has come within 10-feet of the rim this season.

Markieff clearly needs to work on his scoring near the rim. As an NBA big-man Markieff has to understand that he can’t make a living off of his jumpers. He’s got to learn how to use his jumpers to set-up his drives, which is what ultimately makes someone like Amar’e Stoudemire such an effective face-up four. It’s seldom for NBA big-guys get by offensively by predicating the majority of their offense on jumpers, guys like Dirk Nowitzki and Ryan Anderson are a diamond dozen.

Markieff’s improvement since Marcus joined the team has been very promising. If Markieff can sustain his level of play and build on it, he could very well make a good case for being a starter moving forward.

Topics: Markieff Morris, NBA, Phoenix Suns

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