Summer League reveals continued Chriss immaturity

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 9: Marquese Chriss
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 9: Marquese Chriss /

The Summer League provides fans an early look at their respective teams. For Suns fans, we learned Marquese Chriss still has attitude problems.

Marquese Chriss’ biggest knock against him so far in his short career has been his attitude on the court. On occasion frustration can get the best of him leading him into both personal and technical fouls that he really should not commit – and lest we forget the occaionsal breakdown on transition defense while he yells at refs, a situation that got him called out on national television by Head Coach Earl Watson during the team’s third Summer League game versus the Houston Rockets.

In the Summer League, players are allowed ten personal fouls instead of the usual six. Marquese averaged 5.75 fouls per game in the four full games he played, recording nine fouls in game one and eight in game three.

Had it been preseason or regular season play, Chriss would have fouled out twice and been on the brink of fouling out once more as he finished with five fouls against the Dallas Mavericks in game two.

If Chriss cannot improve his attitude and stay out of foul trouble, he will not be able to stay in when the team requires his size and athleticism late in games. These first few seasons are the most important for his personal development. If he is leaving games early and unable to find minutes in tight close games due to earlier foul trouble, then more than veterans blocking younger players, his own mistakes will stunt his growth.

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Overall it was a relatively okay performance in the Summer League for Chriss. He was close to averaging a double-double with 14.4 points and 6 rebounds. However, two of his best scoring games occurred when he had over six fouls. It is hard to see how Chriss will perform when the season starts with him gathering fouls at such a high rate. According to basketball-reference, he averaged only 3.2 personal fouls per game in his rookie season, although a staggering 5.4 per-6 minutes.

As the preseason fast approaches (it appears the first games will be held on September 30), if Marquese cannot decrease the number of mental fouls he commits, he may find himself lost on the bench, rather than in the game making an impact. Last season, Chriss lost composure a few times, leading to technical fouls (he and Devin Booker led the team with 11 technical fouls, while Chriss alone led all rookies in the category), if he continues to draw fouls, this could lead to him becoming more frustrated, which in turn leads to more technicals and possibly suspensions.