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Player of the Week Highlights: Markieff Morris

In the Suns' three games this week against the Grizzlies, Cavaliers and Timberwolves, Markieff Morris averaged 21.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game on 58% shooting from the field and 50% shooting from deep. Against the Cavs he put up a career-high 35 on 15-21 shooting. All that made him an easy choice for player of the week.

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

How does one define an "elite" game?

Well, elite games come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing is for certain; if you make 15 field goals and shoot 70% in a single night, you likely just had yourself a superstar performance.

And guess what? Only three players in the NBA have met those criteria for a single game this season. LeBron James is one, having put up 41 points on 17/24 shooting against the Pelicans on December 12th. Speaking of the Pelicans, Anthony Davis is the second, after scoring 38 on 16/22 shooting against the Thunder on December 21st.

And finally, Markieff Morris marks the third player on the list, having put up a career-high 35 on 15/21 shooting against the Cavaliers this past week. He consistently torched star power forward Kevin Love to the point that Love was sent to the bench, and continued to shoot well in the 4th quarter against other defensive assignments. James Jones, Shawn Marion and even LeBron James were all positioned against Markieff by David Blatt, but none could quench Morris' hot shooting stroke.

In case you haven't noticed at this point, Markieff is kind of clutch. Just take a look at this chart of his field-goal percentage by quarter.

In the first quarter of games, Morris has shot only 45 percent from the field (90-200).

However, he consistently heats up. How does he play when he checks back into the game several minutes into the fourth quarter? He shoots 56 percent from the field, on 51-91 shooting.

Markieff was, unfortunately, also in the news for bad reasons this week, after he refused to speak to the media following the Suns' win over the Cavs. On the other hand, he later apologized to John Gambadoro and other members of the media over the radio.

Plus, he isn't the only one pulling such stunts. If you think the Suns are the only team with maturity issues, look no further than Russell Westbrook's "execution" interview following his fantastic performance against the Warriors.

After swapping Shavlik Randolph for Reggie Bullock, the Suns are now the 4th-youngest team in the league. And yet, they're still a playoff seed despite having zero players over the age of 30. Not only did Markieff own up to his mistake, but also notice that there have been no technical fouls on the Suns over the past three games (despite two of them being close matches against playoff teams). Hopefully that is a sign of things to come.

Here are Morris' highlights since the last time he was player of the week (back in November).

As always, make sure to vote for your own player of the week. Here were some of the top performers:

Markieff averaged 21.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game on 58/50/71 shooting.

Dragic averaged 16.0 points, 2.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game on 51/22/50 shooting (only four free-throw attempts).

Bledsoe shot the ball very poorly (only 33/25/92 shooting), but still stuffed the stat sheet (with 13.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.3 steals and only 1.3 turnovers per game).

Len grabbed double-digit rebounds in all three games, and finished with averages of 11 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game on 57 percent shooting. Watch out, those could be his season averages before long.

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