There was a running joke prior to the 2011 draft that Markieff and Marcus Morris would forget how to play basketball if they were broken apart. After all, these two brothers balled together since they were in pampers.
The Morris twins hooped together growing up in the city of brotherly love and ultimately hooped together at Kansas for three seasons before declaring for the 2011 NBA draft.
Well, the two brothers had to spend quite a bit of time away from each other as Markieff was taken by the Suns and Marcus was taken by the Rockets, but the two were reunited rather quickly. During this past season, the Suns acquired Marcus from the Rockets in a deal that costed the Suns a mere future second-round draft choice.
“I’m super excited,” Markieff said in regards to being reunited with Marcus. “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.”
“I just smiled, shedded a tear or two,” Marcus told CSN Houston. “I’m just happy to be back with my brother — get a chance to be reunited and get going.”
Markieff Morris showed little improvement throughout his first two seasons in the NBA, but Markieff’s performance during the second half of this past season was highly encouraging. During the second half of season his shooting percentages took a halfway decent jump, his scoring improved as did his rebounding.
It’s clear as day that Markieff needs more reps in the weight room. Markieff dominated opponents physically on the college level but he’s no longer a man among boys, he’s now a boy among men.
Markieff needs to work on some post moves as well and means a couple of weeks down in Houston with good ole Hakeem Olajuwon. Markieff seems very comfortable playing on the block, but the problem is he has zero moves down there, so more often than not he winds up taking an awkward fadeaway jumper which usually results in an rebound. I’m not sure if Hakeem will work with just anybody, but if Robin Lopez was able to secure a few sessions with Hakeem, Markieff could too.
Once Markieff learns how to score outside of taking jump shots his shooting percentages and his scoring will naturally increase. According to 82games.com jump shots(15 feet or beyond) accounted for 73% of Markieff’s shot attempts. The man has to learn how to score in the paint, if he continues to rely that mediocre jump shot of his, he’s going to become the next Channing Frye.
Marcus Morris played limited minutes upon his arrival in the valley of the Suns mostly due to the Suns log jam at the forward positions. Between Luis Scola, Michael Beasley, Jared Dudley, P.J Tucker and his brother Markieff, there were just simply not enough minutes to go around.
If someone were to look at Marcus’ numbers during his short stint with the Suns, those numbers won’t blow them away but if one were to judge his play on the court they’d be impressed. Marcus, unlike Markieff, is much more comfortable handling the basketball and making offensive moves off the dribble.
Marcus during 54 games with the Rockets this season shot 38% on his three-point attempts, and averaged 3.6 attempts from downtown per game.
One of the biggest knocks on Marcus Morris coming out of Kansas was that people were unsure of what position he’d play at the next level. He stands tall at six-nine and is a relatively unimpressive rebounder, but looking at his play-style under the lens? It’s imminent that he’s simply a less athletic version of Jeff Green(Although Marcus might be a little more skilled). Marcus needs a lot of offseason work but the good news is, the talent and skill set is currently present.
The stage is set for both Marcus and Markieff. They are finally reunited, the twins will have an entire offseason to sharpen their game, and even more importantly the Suns will be getting a new coach and that means every player will have the chance to earn their minutes.
Both Markieff and Marcus has shown in their two years in the NBA that they belong in the league, but the key now is for them to take advantage of the opportunity that’s in front of them.