Mar 2, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer looks on as Phoenix Suns power forward Marcus Morris (15) reacts after making a three point basket during the second half at US Airways Center. The Phoenix Suns won the game 129-120. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Phoenix Suns Player Profile: Marcus Morris

Stats:| 22.0 MPG | 9.7 PPG | 3.9 RPG | 1.1 APG | 0.9 SPG | 44.2 FG% | 38.1 3P% |

Often the forgotten twin, Marcus Morris was fairly successful in his first complete season as a member of the Phoenix Suns. This was Morris’ third year in the league, and it marked the first time he played in all 82 games. Since coming to Phoenix the younger Morris has averaged 8.82 points per game, which is up nearly a point from his career average. Morris really worked hard to provide energy and scoring off of the bench, and he did so quite effectively in the 2013-2014 season.

Season Arc:

Consistency, consistency, consistency. In the 2013-2014 campaign, Marcus Morris was able to provide a consistent spark off the bench almost every night. While Morris scored within two points of his scoring average just 23 times on the year, he was within two rebounds of his season average 55 times and within 2 assists of his season average 79 times: Consistency. Marcus Morris did all of the little things that the Suns needed, and it’s no coincidence that he averaged more minutes and points per game in victories, compared to losses. Morris was one of three Suns’ players to appear in all 82 games, and he even started one game in place of a suspended PJ Tucker.

Best Game:

Marcus Morris had a lot of solid outings in the 2013-2014 season, including eighteen 15-point games, but his best performance occurred against the Los Angeles Lakers back in December. Marcus Morris was second on the team in scoring with 22 points, managing to make ten 10 of his 13 field goal attempts and both of his three-point attempts. Additionally, Morris put up four rebounds and two assists, while not turning the ball over a single time. Marcus Morris was big for the Suns as they pulled out a narrow win against the Lakers, despite the rest of the team shooting just 22.7% (5/22) from beyond the arc.

Strengths:

Marcus Morris’ biggest asset is certainly his ability to stretch the floor. In the regular season, Marcus Morris’ three-point percentage of 38.1 was seventh out of all power forwards (with a minimum of 100 attempts). Anyone that followed the Suns during the Summer League already knew that this was the case, especially after Marcus Morris hit a game-winning buzzer beater against the Minnesota Timberwolves, from just inside the three-point line.

Development:

Throughout the course of the season, Morris really developed in terms of his ability to shoot the ball. Prior to the season, Morris had shot just 57.6% from the free-throw line, but this year he shot a career best 76.1%, making more free-throws than he had in his previous two seasons combined. Additionally, Morris shot a career-best 44.2% from the floor, improving by more than 2% from last season, and he continued to improve his shot selection and developed a greater understanding of when to make ‘the extra pass.’

Weaknesses:

A lot of Marcus Morris’ problems spurned from the fact that he didn’t (and still doesn’t) really have a natural position on the floor. While Morris’ set position may be as a power forward, his 230-pound frame doesn’t exactly make him one of the bigger players in the league. Morris found himself face to face with the likes of Zach Randolph (6’10, 260 pounds), Kevin Love (6’10, 243 pounds), and Blake Griffin (6’10, 251 pounds), each having a height and weight advantage over the former Jayhawk. For that reason Marcus Morris struggled to really take over the boards in any given game, and he only managed to snag 7.1 rebounds per 40 minutes, which was tied for 83rd for all power forwards and tied for 217th in the entire NBA. Morris will need to continue to add strength in the offseason, especially if he wants to be able to take on a bigger role with the Phoenix Suns, both literally and metaphorically. 

Future with the Team:

The Suns have the option to keep Marcus Morris next year for roughly $2.9 million, but one would have to expect that Morris would want to stay in Phoenix with his brother, especially considering the success the two have had alongside each other. The Morris Twins have stuck it out together for most of their life, whether in high school, college, or the NBA, so as long as Markieff Morris continues to make Phoenix his home, it’d be a safe bet to say that Marcus Morris will be staying in Phoenix for the near future.

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