1. Do you agree with Jeff Hornacek’s decision to bench guys, regardless of the importance of the game, after a technical when arguing with officials?
Gerald Bourguet: I don’t mind it at all. He’s trying to establish a winning culture in Phoenix. Contrary to popular believe, championships aren’t won by immature players who gripe at every call. Nobody on the Suns is a superstar that has a right to argue calls. Nothing good has ever come from arguing with an official. This young team needs tough love if nothing else has worked thus far, though we’ll have to see how his slight changes to the rule go moving forward.
Scott Chasen: Yes and no. During the game I tweeted that while frustrating to see a guy like that sit on the bench, it’s not really fair to be mad when this has been laid out ahead of time. That being said, I didn’t think Markieff Morris’ technical foul was actually that bad, as it seemed Barnes just shoved him while he was going up for a dunk, and Morris took exception to that, but really the stretch said more about Morris than it did about anyone or anything else. The Suns have really relied on Keef, especially in the fourth quarter, as a guy who can make a shot or settle things down. Obviously he has his flaws, and I’m not saying he’s even close to as good as LeBron James or Kevin Durant, but Markieff Morris is arguably just as important to this team as any other player in the NBA, and I actually have some numbers to back that up. It was a two-point game when Markieff Morris came out; the final margin was 20. And as Kevin Ray pointed out on the Suns broadcast, Morris leads the Suns in plus/minus by a ridiculous margin, not to mention the fact that he’s 13th (!!!!!!!!!!!) in the NBA in the stat himself, behind only players from the Clippers, Hawks, Trail Blazers, Grizzlies and Mavericks.
Spencer Hann: Absolutely. Short-term, Hornacek’s technical foul rules will hurt the Suns and cost them games that they could possibly win otherwise. Long-term, it will only help this young team grow both as men and players. The coaches and organization are still in the process of developing a winning culture and building a solid foundation, making these steps necessary. The goal is to have this team competing for a NBA championship within the next three years and player immaturity cannot be a roadblock.
Eric Saar: It’s really a long-term play. While I hate losing some of these games to teams we are trying to catch in the standings, it will be better for the maturity of the team, and each individual in particular.
Gavin Schall: I’m still of the opinion that this is such a serious problem it is kind of funny. Hornacek seemingly made it abundantly clear that the techs had to stop, and yet anytime a game is even relatively competitive there’s at least two. It’s a good practice in theory, but a costly one. Markieff Morris is second in the league with 10 technicals and as the guy with the best on/off splits on the Suns benching him for a significant stretch of any game is a killer (as we saw against the Clippers). This team is young, but these guys are still adults and it’s ridiculous that they can’t control themselves.
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