It wasn't a great week for the Suns, who managed to squeak by the Nets and Magic in close games but were also blown out by the Heat and Cavaliers. Nobody really stood out for player of the week honors, but let's examine some of the options.
P.J. Tucker continued to play well, averaging 15.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. He was certainly a great candidate for player of the week, but ultimately I decided not to give it to him two weeks in a row. You should be taking note of Tucker's recent performance; missing the team bus for a second time this season wasn't good news, but he has scored in double digits in 10 of his past 11 games. Overall he's averaging 13.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game since the All-Star break.
Bledsoe had a decent week, but not one that was up to our usual standards of him. He continued to stuff the stat sheet (14.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 1.8 steals per game) but also continued to struggle with turnovers (two consecutive 7-turnover games against Orlando and Brooklyn).
Brandon Knight looked fantastic against Orlando, putting up 28 points and 7 assists in his best game as a Sun to date. But can you really give player of the week to a guy who shot 33% from the field over the past four games?
Alex Len only appeared in three of the four games. Interestingly enough, if you can believe this, he hasn't recorded a block since the team's win over the Thunder on February 26th.
T.J. Warren looked great in garbage time last night but that isn't enough.
So that leaves us with the knucklehead, Markieff Morris. This guy may not know when it's appropriate to speak his mind but I still love his game on the court, and will defend him until the end. Morris averaged 17.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per game this week on 52% shooting from the field. He scored 13 in 21 minutes against Miami before being slapped with a flagrant two foul, and then scored 16 against Cleveland. On both nights he was one of the only scoring options for a Suns team that is not accustomed to struggling offensively.
Markieff remains the only good post-up option on the roster, and it certainly shows when he comes off the floor. While it might be fair to criticize his poor rebounding numbers, without him the Suns are left with a bunch of three-point shooters and transition scorers who, for some odd reason, don't actually appear to be that good at making threes or transition baskets as of late. Morris is the relatively constant offensive presence, though when he's cold, he's cold. And that's why it would help the Suns to add another low-post scorer to pair with Len and Kieff in the frontcourt; especially on nights when the team misses 21 threes in a row.
Could the Suns potentially do better at the PF spot in the future and acquire someone who will say the right things? Sure, it's possible. That does not, in my opinion, mean that there's no room for Markieff on the roster. Pay close attention to how much money various free agents will attract within the next couple of years due to the rising salary cap and you will be thankful to have such a great scorer on the team for $8 million/year.
Or you can want him gone, that's cool too. But subtract the twins from the current roster and 74-point games or 79-point games wouldn't just be anomalies anymore.
Don't agree? Meet me in Temecula. Just don't press charges, please. I don't need an assault investigation hanging over my head.
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