Marcus Morris Returns to Houston

After playing against his former Rockets teammates this past Saturday, Marcus Morris returns to Houston tonight for the first time since being traded to the Suns.
Barry Gossage/NBAE Photos

Marcus Morris has never felt as good in the NBA as he feels right now.

Fortunately for the Suns, that confidence is heading with him and his teammates into Houston tonight for the first time since he was traded from the Rockets to Phoenix last month. It’ll be his second opportunity in three games to show his former team what it’s missing.

“This is a big chance for me to be myself,” Morris said. “I’m just taking advantage of the opportunity.”

Since arriving in Phoenix, Marcus has scored in double figures in five of his last six games – a streak that has included two games of 16 or more points. In fact, his four-game double-digit scoring streak that recently ended was the second-longest of his career.

“I have people that want me to be here,” he said. “With the coaching staff, (Suns Head Coach) Lindsey (Hunter), (General Manager) Lance (Blanks), (President of Basketball Operations) Lon (Babby) and those guys, there is a smile on their face every time I see them.”

In Houston, Morris averaged 8.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 0.5 steals per game on 43-percent shooting from the field and 38-percent shooting from behind the arc before coming over in a trade this season. Since arriving in Phoenix, he’s averaging 10 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.7 steals on 49-percent shooting from the floor and 53-percent shooting from three-point range.

It’s not like he’s just competing on one end of the floor either. The “edge” he displays on defense has also impressed the coaching staff. He’s even registered a steal in a career-high six consecutive games.

“I like everything about his approach,” Hunter said. “(I like) the edge and the fire that he has. I think he’s a really good asset for us.”

However, the benefit of him being in Phoenix is not exclusive to Marcus. His twin brother, Markieff, has also performed well since his brother’s arrival. The Suns’ first-round pick in the 2011 NBA Draft has reached double figures four times in the past nine games, while only accomplishing that feat four times in the previous 28 games.

“It’s quite noticeable (how much better Markieff is playing with Marcus in Phoenix),” Hunter said. “His mood all around is better, so I think that affects him out on the court.” It’s very rare to see the two twins apart. They typically leave the court after practice together, receive treatment in the training room together and sit in the cold tub together.

“They have quite a bond,” Suns center Jermaine O’Neal said. “They sit around and talk all the time. They talk like they aren’t going home to the same house together (laughs).”

Despite their noticeable chemistry together on the court, Hunter doesn’t believe it’s critical to always pair them together on the floor to optimize their play. With that being said, since center Marcin Gortat sprained his arch, both Marcus and Markieff have moved into the starting lineup.

It’s obvious that the two have a sixth sense between each other.

“It’s like the Spurs between him and I,” Markieff said of San Antonio’s veteran roster. “We’ve been together for a while.”