Markieff Morris adjusting to NBA, Sebastian Telfair standing out

PHOENIX — There were many victims of the NBA lockout, but so far as the players are concerned nobody was hurt more than the rookies.

Not only did they have nothing to fall back on financially aside from advances from their agents — as opposed to established vets who had been saving up for this for years — they also missed out on a summer of getting acclimated to an NBA environment before this cram job of a training camp.

As opposed to a player like Jared Dudley, who head coach Alvin Gentry lauded for being a “a little bit ahead” thanks to his high level summer workouts in Vegas and San Diego against other pros, Suns rookie Markieff Morris is getting his first taste of NBA-caliber play this week at training camp with no Summer League or informal workouts during the offseason.

“I think in general, especially the way our league is structured, even if you’re a big guy like Markieff you’re just not used to playing against guys your size that are quicker than you and stronger than you night in and night out, and that’s something that he’ll get accustomed to and adjusted to and be fine I think,” Gentry said.

Although Morris swished a pair of foul shots after running drills with teammates hooting things like “rook” and “Allen Fieldhouse,” Gentry said Morris often left the ball short later in practice after starting out shooting well.

“I think it’s just a matter of him getting his legs under him and being able to do it for an extended period of time, and that will all come as he gets in basketball shape,” Gentry said.

The same could likely be said for Morris in general, as the Cam Newtons of the world aside, the lockout should extend the learning curve for all first-year players this season.

Camp standout

I asked Gentry who has stood out thus far in training camp, and he answered Sebastian Telfair, saying the point guard’s energy has been good for the team.

With Zabian Dowdell still sidelined, he is in line to start the season as Nash’s backup.

And 1

  • Gentry really likes the effort of the team so far, which he said is important because “the other things are very correctable. It’s just impossible to really try to coach energy and effort, so we’ve got that right there. It’s a good foundation and a good start.”
  • Josh Childress on how training camp is different this year: “Now it’s just that feeling that it’s condensed and you kind of have to pack everything in at once. You’re going through tons of coverages in one practice as opposed to spreading them out like normally would. You just have to really put your thinking cap on and pay attention.
  • Join Schmitz, Lynch and myself for a Daily Dime Live chat on the Suns on Tuesday from noon to 1 p.m MST.

Tags: Alvin Gentry Markieff Morris Sebastian Telfair

  • George Z.

    So someone try and explain this to me. We seem to be in need of a Power Forward that has a good reputation, I have always thought of David West as a great PF. He got a 2 year contract with the Pacers for 20 mil, where were the Suns when these offers and negotiations went down? I always hear/read that the Suns don’t have the cap space for this, don’t have room for that. The Sun with the biggest payroll is Nash at 13 mil? So how the heck don’t the Suns have money for other players? How? Carter was released/bought out why not just use the money the team technically had set aside to pay him this year and use it on someone worth the price? Teams all over the place in smaller markets seem to be signing talented players on the quickness. We live in the 6th most populous city in the US, I don’t get it. I will wait to be the first to cast a stone. I will wait to see what this new management team is trying to accomplish in this next off-season.

  • Michael Schwartz

    A friend of mine asked me this just the other day, so I’m sure you’re not the only one thinking this, George. Basically with the cap holds to Brooks and Hill the Suns were right up against the salary cap if not over even after waiving Vince. I suppose they could renounced Hill and Brooks, actually traded Pietrus and amnestied somebody to get them $10 mil under the cap, but so long as that was never going to happen they really didn’t have the salary cap space to spend West $10 mil a year.

    In any case, they were never going to do anything that disrupting their plans to have tons of cap space next summer. Everything was about one-year deals, so even if they magically did come about $10 mil they never were going to sign anyone to a two-year contract.

    Last year at this time I was super high on West because I think he would be a great PNR partner for Nash, but the finances were such that it just wasn’t possible. Now if the Suns don’t make moves NEXT summer then you will have reason to gripe.

    Check out our salaries page if you want to see the exact breakdown of why the Suns don’t have cap space this year despite Nash being the only guy over $7 mil.

  • Mel.

    … and the Suns apparently waived Z, this morning.

    Some hunh?

    Telfair MUST be bringing the ruckus in the pre-season, or at least presenting himself as a good enough option to stall out until Brooks gets back… beyond that, the timing just seems really odd.

  • George Z.

    They just signed Ronnie Price. Maybe that’s why they decided to let him go.

  • http://none Terry Petty

    Good point all those 1 year contracts. Looks like rebuilding begins next year; goodby Nash, Hill. Hello to 2 big names then it starts all over. This year I expect we win alot of home games to keep the seats filled but finish low enough for a good draft pick and possibly a lottery pick. I’m not deluded enough to think we have a window left.

  • Scott

    I wonder why the majority of fans who post on forums are so negative?

    Now I see the Suns have replaced Dowdell with Ronnie Price. Dowdell had a nagging injury, and probably wasn’t going to provide anything Telfair wasn’t giving. So the Suns scooped up Price from the bargain bin.

    Price has terrible stats. His PER is like half of Dowdell’s, and that’s with Dowdell as a rookie and Price as a six-year veteran. However, I’m going to trust that Blanks has made a sensible move … only that it is sensible for some reason I can’t see.

    The advantage of Telfair and Price over Dowdell is that they’ve seen years of NBA practice and play, and they’re not prone to turn the ball over. Even if their stats don’t show it, they’re probably going to turn out better for the team than Dowdell simply because of experience.

    I’m all for letting fresh blood in and developing new talents, but maybe it is best to go with young but experienced hands when it comes to PG if there’s no top 5 lottery pick available.

  • sun-arc

    I think Price is all about defense and energy, less about filling the stats, which would indicate why his PER is so low. Unfortunately, it sounds like he is very turnover prone, so another fault. That, and VERY limited offensively. But he should be close to a lock-down defender on guards, and provides a lot of energy. Can also score close to the basket. So- maybe a mini-Amundson? He’s our 3rd string, so we probably won’t see him much.