Emergence of Wesley Johnson, Marcus Morris Exciting for Phoenix Suns

By Michael Terrill
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns are currently on a three-game win streak after upsetting the Atlanta Hawks Friday night thanks to the emergence of two young players. Small forward Wesley Johnson and power forward Marcus Morris have really stepped up their game lately, which has been thrilling for fans to watch.

With the Suns sitting towards the bottom of the Western Conference standings, head coach Lindsey Hunter has decided to give his young players a chance to show what they can do in anticipation for next season.

Johnson has made the most of his opportunity as he is averaging 8.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 22.0 minutes per game since All-Star weekend. He is also shooting 44 percent from the floor and 42.1 percent from the beyond the arc, which is much improved from his 31 percent 3-point shooting before the All-Star break. Over the past three games, Hunter has decided to give Johnson even more playing time and it has really paid off. The 25-year-old is averaging 12.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 30.0 minutes per game.

Morris, who was acquired by Phoenix in a trade with the Houston Rockets, has seen inconsistent playing time in the five games with his new team. However, Hunter has allowed Morris to see the court more frequently in the last two games and the 23-year-old has repaid his coach generously. The brother of fellow Suns power forward Markieff Morris, is averaging 13.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 25.5 minutes per game over the last two contests. In the victory over Atlanta, he hit four out of five of his three pointer field goal attempts and shot 62.5 percent from the field.

It has become evident that when these two players perform well the entire team plays with more confidence. Obviously, this could be nothing more than a minor hot streak, but it could be very exciting for Phoenix if it was more than that.

Johnson, who was drafted fourth overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2012 NBA Draft, has the potential to be a phenomenal defensive player and rebounder with offensive skills. There is no question his future is bright with the Suns if he can continue to develop his talents. Morris also has the capability to be a powerful asset for Phoenix going forward.

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