Oct 17, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks shooting guard Jared Cunningham (1) and Phoenix Suns power forward Markieff Morris (11) during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Suns defeated the Mavericks 100-94. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

Can Markieff Morris Sustain His Excellent Play?

Nov. 23, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Markieff Morris (11) handles the ball against New Orleans Hornets forward Ryan Anderson (33) in the second half at US Airways Center. The Suns defeated the Hornets 111-108 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE

As most of you may already be aware of, Markieff Morris has recently been named as the Suns starter for the past 2 games and he’s been quite impressive. In his 2 starts Morris is averaging 21 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and is shooting a blistering 72% from the field.

It’s more impressive because of the last 2 players he’s been matched up against as a starter, all-star forward LaMarcus Aldridge and last year’s most improved player Ryan Anderson. Morris did a great job defensive on Aldridge in the first game but got torched by Anderson last night as Anderson dropped 34 points however it’s tough to put any blame on Morris for that because Anderson was making shots whether someone was guarding him or not.

As I was analyzing the situation it was clear what has contributed to Morris’ success. The first thing would be that he’s been able to knock down the jumper. In the last two games Morris has made 8 of his 10 jump shot attempts  and if someone can hit jump shots at that rate they’re bound to have success on offense.

The second thing is the success that Morris has had inside the painted area which the most encouraging sign of improvement I’ve seen from Morris. Morris has made 10 of 15 shot attempts from inside the painted area and he’s done a terrific job on the offensive glass. Despite only grabbing 10 rebounds in the last 2 games, 5 of those were on the offensive end.

Morris has showed a great nose for put-backs since he came into this league, seems like every game this guy gets an offensive put back.

At this point, not to be a pessimist but I don’t expect Morris to play at this level for the rest of the season however I do expect him to be a lot better than he was last season.

Nov. 2, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Phoenix Suns forward (11) Markieff Morris dunks the ball against the Detroit Pistons in the second half at the US Airways Center. The Suns defeated the Pistons 92-89. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

If I was Alvin Gentry I’d sign Morris up for a summer with Hakeem Olajuwon. Morris has a great touch around the rim but it’s obvious he doesn’t have a lot of moves down there in the paint.

Morris’ success down in the paint over the last two games has been by far the most encouraging sign. We all knew he could shoot the ball but he never showed much ability to score in the paint.

Morris will eventually cool down from the perimeter but should he continue to score the ball around the rim he will have a lot of success as a big man in the NBA, not to mention keep his spot in the starting line-up.

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