Updated Mar 26, 2013 - 4:08 pm
Suns' message to Markieff Morris: Rebound or don't play
Phoenix Suns coach Lindsey Hunter is making it crystal clear what he expects from Markieff Morris.
"If you rebound, you play. If you don't, you sit," Hunter said he's told his second-year power forward. "What else can I say? It's clear cut.
"It's not about making shots," Hunter continued. "It's about competing defensively and rebounding and doing all those things because if you do those things, the other things will come. You'll get your attempts. You'll get all that stuff because you'll be on the floor. You can't get all those things if you're on the bench."
Morris grabbed 15 rebounds, two shy of a career high, Sunday against Brooklyn. Nine of those rebounds came on the offensive end.
"(Hunter) knows my ability to rebound and I know it myself," he said.
It was the second time this month Morris had double-digit rebounds in a game, bringing his season average to 4.6, matching his performance from last year.
"Definitely not where I should be or close to where I should be," he said of his rebounding number. "Basically, (Hunter) has given me the option: rebound or don't play."
Morris found himself not playing two games before. Hunter benched him, unhappy with his effort that produced only two rebounds in 11 first half minutes against Washington.
"I respect it," he said of Hunter's decision to sit him in quarters three and four. "You're supposed to come out and play hard no matter what, every night."
Morris called rebounding "one of my natural abilities."
He said he noticed something after watching game film with his brother.
"I've been boxing out a lot. That's what I've been doing," Morris explained. "Honestly, I think that's the wrong thing to do. I've been doing it in college and I was successful with it. But (in the NBA) you've just got to go get the ball. A lot of guys don't even block out. They just go get it."
Hunter believes Morris, enjoying his best stretch of the season with 49 rebounds over his last six games, has just scratched the surface with his ability.
"I think he has another level (to reach)," Hunter said, "and I'm going to keep pushing him to it."
Craig Grialou, Reporter
- Suns guard Goran Dragic leads Slovenians to win in World Cup opener
- Phoenix Suns launch a social media campaign to find new fan models
- Former Phoenix Suns guard Leandro Barbosa signs with the Golden State Warriors
- Suns guard Goran Dragic limited as Slovenia routed by United States in World Cup exhibition
- Report: Phoenix Suns reach out to Minnesota Timberwolves about an Eric Bledsoe-Kevin Love trade
- Lionel Hollins, head coach Brooklyn Nets - Wednesday August 27The head coach of the Brooklyn Nets joins Doug & Wolf for the ASU Sun Devil Fork Report.
- Kirk Gibson, D-backs manager - Tuesday August 26D-backs manager Kirk Gibson discusses possible changes to a six-man rotation.
- Paul Coro - azcentral sports Suns writer - Tuesday August 26Paul Coro discusses Eric Bledsoe still being a restricted free agent.
- Chris Sheridan- sheridanhoops.com - Tuesday August 19Chris Sheridan believes there is one team that could easily make a max contract offer to Eric Bledso
- Who impressed/who depressed - Monday August 18Dan and Vince look back at who impressed and depressed them over the weekend.