Phoenix Suns forward Markieff Morris is expected to be back with the team Wednesday night when they travel to San Antonio.
However, the real question for the team is if Morris will be back mentally.
The forward has been struggling all season long and many have blamed his performance on the offseason trade of his twin brother, Marcus to the Detroit Pistons.
The trade didn’t sit will with Morris, and many have questioned his mental state of mind and his commitment to the team.
It was a question that was posed to Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek Tuesday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s Doug and Wolf Show about just how committed is Morris to the Suns.
“I don’t know. Again I would probably say no, because he has that thought in his head and until you can eliminate it, you can never perform to your best because there is always that lingering negative thought,” Hornacek said. “How can you be 100 percent? He has to get over that somehow. I don’t know how to measure that.”
Morris has been serving a two-game suspension by the team after he threw a towel at Hornack during the Suns’ loss to the Denver Nuggets. It was the culmination of a bad stretch for the team in which they have gone 5-16 and Morris has seen limited playing time and at times did not play at all because of a coach’s decision.
“We are going to talk to him and it has to be a situation where he has to be all in,” Hornacek said of Morris. “It’s a tough thing. He hasn’t been able to break out of that thought process with his brother being gone. For him to have any impact with us, he has got to some how say he’s mentally all in and go out there and play.
“I think he’s playing hard when he’s out there. He’s not shooting the ball very well. He’s in the upper 30s for his field-goal percentage, but it’s a tough one. Guys are wanting him to perform, but it does put that question every night. Is he really in or is he out, is he really into it. It’s just a situation that we are trying to handle.”
In 22 games this season, Morris is averaging 10.8 points per game in 23.5 minutes.
“Again, if he does come back and say all the right things and we get the feeling that he wants to try and turn it around. He does love to play basketball,” Hornacek said. “The only way to find out is to be on the court.”