Phoenix Suns Reign On Weekly Heat Check: Markieff Morris

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

With Goran Dragic appearing to be firmly in control of the player of the week for the foreseeable future, it's time to switch things up a bit and look at other players on the roster who are stepping up and making a difference. Let's kick things off by looking at one of the more overlooked contributors on the court this week...Markieff Morris.

The NBA is all about which player and team can rule the court in the most epic fashion and Bright Side of the Sun has teamed up with Crown Royal to rank the best of the best Phoenix Suns players each and every week. Which player ruled the court this week? #ReignOn


Markieff Morris aka "Chief Keef"

Weekly Stat Averages:

Points: 16.2 FG%: .484 Rebounds: 6.2 Assists: 2.0 Blocks: 1.2

Markieff Morris appears to be finally turning the corner and finding his rhythm on the Phoenix Suns. After showing flashes of potential over his first couple of season, but struggling to remain consistent, Keef is stringing together many more good games together while greatly reducing his bad ones...and becoming not only the star of the bench, but one of the most versatile players on the team.

Keef averaged around 26 minutes per game this week, which is actually on par with most of the starters, save for Miles Plumlee who averages less. So even though he is coming off the bench as a sixth man, he is definitely one of the key components of the Suns, and a big reason for their success as well.

This week, Keef exploded for what was his best all around performance of the season, scoring 27 points and grabbing 15 rebounds against the Cleveland Cavaliers on the road. While he would never come close to matching that performance again the rest of the week, he still played very well overall, scorning in double figures in all five games.

Although Markieff is still prone to inconsistency at times, it's a far cry from the type of inconsistency he exhibited over the past couple of seasons. This season, his is averaging 12.8 points per game, .481 FG%, and 5.8 rebounds per game...by far his best stat line of his three seasons on the Suns. Even more promising is the fact that he is still improving those numbers overall, as his good games become more frequent and his bad games less so.

Hopefully, this trend will continue, as he gives the Suns an added dimension that they simply can't replace without him on the floor. Sure, Frye gives them spacing and can score in bunches from beyond the arc. But Keef is very adept at scoring from all over the floor. He can put the ball on the ground and take his opponent to the basket, shoot a mid-range jumper off the dribble, or even hit the three which he is doing a lot less of, but at a much higher percentage than seasons' past.

Markieff may never be a star player, but he is proving to be a very solid player, and a bargain as the 13th overall pick in the 2010 draft. Just a season ago, many fans were lamenting his spot on the roster and would have been content to trade him away for a six pack and a bag of chips. Thankfully that didn't happen, and he is turning into an important part of this team, and another valuable asset should the Suns ever choose to go a different direction...not saying it will happen, but you know...McDonough.

For now though, let's just appreciate the player Markieff has finally become and how much he has helped the Suns this season. Here's hoping Keef can continue to play at a high level and continue his progression on an upward trend. With Bledsoe still out and the Suns making a valiant push for the post season, Keef will continue to be an integral part of the offense, and a valuable part of the team as a whole going forward.

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Remember, our readers will also have a chance to receive some Crown Royal swag to help you Reign On, too, on the street, basketball court or just in your living room. More to come soon.

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