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Markieff Morris and Bill Self urged Suns to trade for Marcus Morris

Mar 27, 2013, 5:05 PM EDT

San Antonio Spurs v Phoenix Suns Getty Images

Psychological analytics is one of the next waves of in the NBA, and right now, analysts are collecting data to better predict which players will hold up (or even improve) under pressure, when players will develop chemistry and how players can be motivated. Whichever teams turn that data into useful information will have a huge advantage on the opposition.

The Suns, who acquired Marcus Morris from the Rockets near the trade deadline to pair him with his twin brother, appear to be running their own experiment. Jeré Longman of The New York Times:

Alvin Gentry, who was fired as the Suns’ coach in January, said that last season, Markieff Morris kept urging Phoenix to trade for his brother. And Gentry said that Bill Self, the Kansas coach, told him: “You need Marcus. If you can get him, he’ll make Markieff work harder.”

Markieff seemed to lack hustle and concentration with the Suns, Angel Morris said of her older, by seven minutes, twin. And Markieff also seemed to grow despondent after Marcus, who played little in Houston, was demoted to the N.B.A.’s Development League.

“They said ’Kieff hit a rookie wall,’ Angel Morris said. “I don’t think it was a rookie wall. I just think that when they sent Marcus to the D-League, he was so depressed that ’Kieff felt the same depression.”

Marcus, she said, “didn’t want to be bothered, didn’t want to talk on the phone, was just in another world.”

Marcus’ numbers are down since the trade, and Markieff’s are no better than before. Perhaps, the twins are showing improved practice habits and better performance in other areas, but it hasn’t translated to the court.

The Suns gave up so little (a second round pick) to get a player who was drafted in the lottery just two years ago, they should be mostly immune for criticism for this trade. But if their thinking was at all colored by the anecdotal projections of Self, Markieff and the twins’ mother, that bodes poorly for Phoenix’s future.

  1. goraidersgospurs - Mar 27, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    millions of dollar could not motivate him only his brother, (CRAZY) I use to like there play at Kansas!!!

  2. adoombray - Mar 27, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    You don’t even know the half of it. The Suns marketted the heck out of the twin thing, inciting incredible derision from the fanbase. While not discounting the theories presented here, because they’re as valid as mine, most of my local Suns people are convinced they did it as a reason to get people to go to the game, in a season where the team gave up before the All-Star break and hired their pro personnel guy as the coach, basically turning the remainder of the season into a team wide D-league stint.

    This is what happens when teams tank, they do things like this to stay talked about. what other reason do you guys have to post about Phoenix other than them being the worst team in the league that plays outside Charlotte (and even they arguably have a brighter future thanks to MKG)?

  3. patfic15 - Mar 27, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    Both will be outta the league in less than 3 years. They can enjoy playtime then.

  4. lakerluver - Mar 27, 2013 at 10:47 PM

    ^^ If you are correct, at least they will have played in the NBA for a few years, which is longer than you have……That “twin phenomena” and feeling each others emotions is weird but I think it’s real.

  5. nbascreed - Mar 27, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    ROFL!!!!

    Psychological data analysis??? gimme a freakin’ break. The intellectual and algorithmic (not too mention data collection) capabilities of the Suns (or the NBA for that matter) are nowhere near even close to capable of making something like this a reality. My guess is someone somewhere is running empirical data through an Access dB and calling it BI. #FAIL. Didn’t the Bobcats extol the benefits of a similar dB 18-24 months ago? It was supposed to be the gold-standard in player evaluation and development analysis. How are those analytics driving decisions in the marketplace? What gem have they uncovered that they otherwise would NOT have? Don’t worry…I’ll wait.

    ktgotgame.com

  6. fnc111 - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    You are just now saying the future looks bleak for the Suns? Noooooo what gave you that impression lololol? It’s been over for them for 2 years now.

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