Morris shines, Marshall sits as Suns win opener
July 16, 2012: Morris leads Suns past Knicks in summer league opener
Markieff Morris did what he was suppose to do—dominate, in his Las Vegas summer league debut.
He scored a game-high 21 points on 7-of-16 shooting in the Suns 99-74 win over the New York Knicks Sunday afternoon.
“I thought he was patient. I don’t think he forced too many shots,” said Suns summer league head coach Dan Majerle. “He did a lot of good work on the blocks.”
And that’s a point of emphasis for Morris and the Suns this offseason, to develop his work inside the paint and with his back to the basket.
“[He] made some nice moves, some nice passes and he stepped out and hit some jumpers too,” continued Majerle.
Morris grabbed a game-high nine rebounds and had two block shots. He did commit six fouls (players are allowed 10) but only one in the second half plus he was called for a technical foul.
“I thought he had it at times and started playing well and then just kind of backed off,” said Majerle on Morris maintaining his intensity level. “I think he’s just got to continue to play hard no matter how he’s playing—whether it’s good or bad. He’s got to not be satisfied and just try to dominate the game the whole time he’s in it.”
Majerle said he found out right before the game he would not have Kendall Marshall.
The Suns top draft pick had not signed his contract by tip off so Marshall watched the action from the bench, sitting next to assistants Noel Gillespie and Elvis Valcarcel.
Marshall has since signed his rookie deal and was expected to suit up and play in today’s scrimmage against Golden State.
Without Marshall, Majerle turned to Diante Garrett, who spent last year playing in France. Garrett responded with 10 assists and two turnovers in 26 minutes. “[He] played real well,” said Majerle, “really ran the club good, played good defense and made good decisions.”
Off the bench, Erving Walker, an undrafted rookie free agent out of Florida, did not miss a shot (5-of-5), hitting two 3s to score 12 points.
The Suns next summer league game is Tuesday against Cleveland.