ValleyoftheSuns Live: The Suns are officially tanking & more on the Morris twins


Hide your kids, hide your wife and hide your husband because the Phoenix Suns are tanking out here. As Paul Coro reported from Utah prior to the Suns’ game against the Jazz, that the Suns front office was holding out point guard Goran Dragic against a Jazz team that can theoretically chase down the Los Angeles Lakers, thereby giving Phoenix a second lottery selection in the 2013 NBA Draft.

The move goes against what president of basketball operations Lon Babby said this offseason. Though the context was regarding the Suns’ season as a whole and not a single game, Babby said he was against tanking, as Michael Schwartz wrote in October.

“How do you go to work every day and how do you lead a group of people both in an organization and players playing to make their living when either the conscious message or the subliminal message is ‘We want to lose’?” Babby asked. “I don’t know how to do that. So does that condemn us to purgatory for longer? I hope not. Could you come to work every day if you thought your boss was trying to be bad? How long does that take and how many front offices use it as an excuse?”

In this situation however, it would appear Phoenix is doing the right thing considering that more than percentages are on the line. This isn’t about the fourth-worst team getting a lucky lottery ball bounce; this is getting a lottery pick altogether.

In the Google Hangout above, Ryan Weisert and I discuss the decision to tank, along with the playoff picture with the Lakers floundering. Finally we chat about the recent play of Wes Johnson and the Morris twins.

  • 0:00 — Ryan and I talking about this sudden decision to tank and how the playoff picture looks.
  • 4:22 — We reflect on the Suns’ play of late.
  • 7:20 — Breaking down the young Suns, starting with Kendall Marshall and then discussing Wes Johnson.
  • 11:10 — We get to the Morris twins and their play while also touching on their relationship (as discussed below).
  • 15:00 — Ryan makes a good point about how much the Suns miss Channing Frye and how he even helps this struggling team.
  • 16:45 — We get into the NBA draft prospects available and Ryan reps his boy, Victor Oladipo.

Morris twins too reliant on one another?

I don’t mean this as an attack on the relationships between twins, because I’m not one myself and can’t imagine the bond involved between them. The New York Times’ story on the Morris twins — and twins playing pro sports in general — provides a great deal of evidence that there’s a strong support system between the Morris twins.

But this isn’t Neverland.

While in theory it’s nice that the Suns were providing for Markieff Morris when they traded for brother Marcus, it’s concerning that Bill Self told Alvin Gentry that he’d get the most effort out of Markieff by trading for his brother.

It’s concerning that Marcus is referred to as “Markieff batteries,” because a player needing any more motivation other than proving he’s worth a lottery pick is an issue as well.

And it’s an issue that the twins might find themselves in slumps because, well, their twin is struggling.

“They said ’Kieff hit a rookie wall,’ ” Angel Morris, the Morrises’ mother, told the Times. “I don’t think it was a rookie wall. I just think that when they sent Marcus to the D-League, he was so depressed that ’Kieff felt the same depression.”

Maybe the trade was a nice way to bring out the potential of both twins.

But there’s a good chance the duo will have to face separation once again down the road. If they’re ready to perform with or without their sibling will determine how good they’ll become.

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