Yesterday it was announced that Morris took home his first Western Conference Player of the Week award as Indiana Pacers swingman Paul George took home the Eastern Conference honor. Morris is the first Suns player to take home POW honors since Amare Stoudemire in 2008.
Morris was surprised to take home the award even though he averaged 22.7 ppg in the team’s four games last week along with two double doubles.
“Our record means more than that,” Morris said on the meaning of being named POW. “I actually thought they would give it to Kevin Love.”
The hot start that Morris had may not have happened if not for the elbow he threw on Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka in a preseason game that forced him to miss the first game against Portland due to a suspension. Channing Frye started that game for Morris, who has been coming off the bench ever since.
“It happens,” Morris said on losing his starting spot. “I missed that game due to the elbow and I am enjoying it now, except for the money that they took.”
Goran Dragic is expected to play tomorrow
On Monday afternoon Dragic’s wife gave birth to their first child, a healthy baby boy named Mateo. Dragic has missed the last two practices, but Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said that he expects him to play tomorrow in Portland. He will not fly with the team and will fly either tonight or tomorrow, depending on when his wife and baby are allowed to leave the hospital.
Slava Kravtsov to get more playing time?
Back-up center Slava Kravtsov has seen limited action this year, but did get some praise from Hornacek after practice and is working hard to earn more minutes.
“He gets it done, he had a couple nice blocks in practice today and a couple nice moves,” Hornacek said on Kravtsov’s improvement. “When we see practices like that it gives us the confidence that he can get it done.”
Another factor that is giving limited minutes to the big man from Ukraine is the emergence of Morris off the bench. Morris has been playing a number of minutes at center as the Suns have had little issue in going with a small-ball look.
“We have gotten into a rhythm with Morris at that spot with how he has been playing,” Hornacek said. “We just put him there and he takes advantage on offense where he can drive around people and we have forced teams to go small.”
Hornacek did mention that Kravtsov could be used more when they play bigger teams, but of course he’ll need to make an impact in a few games in the near future with center Alex Len assumed to take back his backup center role when his ankle soreness subsides.