When the Suns traded for Marcus Morris, pairing him with his twin brother Markieff, many scoffed at the move as a gimmick. Even though I realized getting Marcus for just a second-round pick was good value, I still laughed at the deal as overly marketing generated.
Well, the joke is on us.
With more competent management put in place after the initial trade, management that has been unafraid to shake up the roster it inherited, the Morris twins are still in Phoenix. And they’re playing very well off the bench.
Morris is averaging 12.0 points and 5.4 rebounds in 24.8 minutes per game, and Marcus is averaging 9.9 points and 5.9 rebounds in 23.2 minutes per game.
Together, they make the Suns better. When both are on the court, Phoenix’s net rating rises from 2.0 to 2.8.
In an article by Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, the twins say they’re motivated to succeed in Phoenix so they can continue playing together, and their dedication to this plan makes it easy to pull for them.
But what’s a post about identical twins without a little humor related to not being able to tell them apart. So let’s end on this from Spears:
The Suns still have problems telling them apart. Babby often addresses them individually as “Morris.” In uniform, Markieff wears No. 11 while Marcus wears No. 15. But when the brothers aren’t wearing their jerseys, media have often mistaken them when asking questions.
“I forgot which game one of them got hurt, Markieff or Marcus, but the other one ran to him,” Hornacek said. “Luckily he grabbed the ball on his way over to him for a delay-of-game call. If that happens early in the game, that’s OK. But if that happens late in the game, he has to leave his brother and go back on defense.”
In the NBA, elite players have the leverage. It is just simple supply and demand.
DeMarcus Cousins is an elite player — and a favorite of owner Vivek Ranadive. He is not going anywhere.
Which made this summer’s “George Karl wants trade Cousins” a battle the coach couldn’t ultimately win — the owner wasn’t going to sign off on it, and the fans are going to side with Boogie. Remember Karl said he never had a player that was untradable, and that spiraled into reports Karl probed trade options with other teams, much to the frustration of management and Cousins himself.
Karl owned up to some of his mistakes in an interview on Comcast Bay Area, as reported by James Ham at CSNBayArea.com.
“To be honest with you, I apologized to DeMarcus for making the trade comment that I’ve never coached a player that’s untradeable,” Karl told Christensen. “That was wrong for me to say, because you all (the media) took it and blew it up into crazy.”
“But it’s my responsibility to be smart enough to not say things like that,” Karl continued. “So I did apologize because I thought that was the only thing, maybe some other things, but really the only thing that got us separated was that comment that then everybody wrote the we’re going to trade [Cousins].”
The relationship between Cousins and Karl — not to mention Rajon Rondo and other veterans — is the biggest key to the Kings’ season. Karl and Cousins say their relationship is solid now, but what happens when that is put under stress at some point during the season?
In talking to people around the team, the Kings players seemed to have formed a tight bond — even if part of the glue of that bond is a distrust of Karl that can work for them. This is a team that has the talent to compete for the bottom couple playoff seeds in the Western Conference, but everybody needs to be pulling on the rope in the same direction. We will see pretty quickly if the Kings can do that.
I’m a fan of the Pistons’ alternate uniforms in general — their “Motor City” ones may be may favorite alternates around the league.
Now they have a new one — Detroit Chrome.
The Pistons will break these out for seven home games this season. From the official release:
The inspiration for the Detroit Chrome jerseys came about as a way to honor our coolest cars from the past and the cars of the future. Detroit is universally known as the auto capital of the world, where chrome leaves an indelible mark on the cars we create. The uniforms feature a matte chrome base color with clean simple lines inspired by the classic muscle cars that have roared up and down Woodward Avenue for decades. The navy trim and Detroit emblazoned across the chest represent the blue collar work ethic that the auto industry and region was built on.
Clean, simple, cool — I like it.
That would look good in the first round of the playoffs, too. (I’m predicting they get the eight seed.)