Through the first seven games of the season, the Phoenix Suns have been one of the biggest surprises in the NBA. They are 5-2 despite being picked to be one of the worst teams in the league this season. They traded away Marcin Gortat and let some of their other best players go in order to stock up on draft picks and rebuild.
But, new head coach Jeff Hornacek has this team thinking in win-now mode — at least at this point of the season.
One of the prized possessions of their rebuild was the acquisition of Eric Bledsoe from the Los Angeles Clippers and he has been phenomenal in a starting role so far, averaging 20.9 points and 7.3 assists per game. But, they are also receiving a potentially breakout year from one of the former first-round picks; Markieff Morris.
After not playing in the opener, Morris has come exclusively off the bench in the past six games and his per-game numbers have been stellar: 29 minutes, 17.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and a ridiculous 63 percent shooting from the floor. In his last three games, he is shooting 30-for-38 and has posted two double-doubles.
When a team is rebuilding, they have low expectations; this gives guys chances to just go out there and play, and Morris is certainly taking advantage of that. He is massively exceeding his career per-game averages of 8.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 42 percent shooting. He, along with his twin brother Marcus Morris, are leading a bench that is usually outperforming the starters on any given night.
If the Suns continue to win, Hornacek should not mess with the lineup. But if things start to crash back to reality, look for the Morris twins to potentially replace guys like Channing Frye, Miles Plumlee and P.J. Tucker in the starting lineup. Either way, look for Markieff to continue his strong start and hopefully have a breakout year in his third season in Phoenix.