Markieff Morris Suspended One Game for Elbowing Serge Ibaka in Face

Grant HughesNational NBA Featured ColumnistOctober 24, 2013

Oct 23, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Phoenix Suns power forward Markieff Morris (11) dunks the ball in the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

It's going to be uncommonly easy for Phoenix Suns fans to remember which Morris twin is which on opening night. That's because Markieff Morris will be in street clothes while he serves a one-game suspension for elbowing Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka in the Suns' final preseason contest.

His twin brother Marcus probably has mixed emotions about the situation. On the one hand, the Suns will miss Markieff's contributions. On the other, Marcus will get to start the season assured of the fact that nobody will confuse him for his brother.

It's a mixed bag, really.

You can see a clip of the incident here.

For all but the most dedicated fans, it has always been tough to keep the Morris twins straight. And after the pair wound up on the same team last year, the task got even tougher.

By most accounts, Markieff is the slightly better player. He went one pick higher than his brother in the 2011 draft and has posted marginally better per-game averages in his career. It's a close question, though, as Marcus has flashed a slightly better three-point shot.

Morris Twins' Career Averages

In the grand scheme of things, Morris' suspension hardly matters to the Suns, who aren't keenly interested in winning games this year. But it's a minor blow to Markieff, who had been playing well in the Suns' uptempo system during the preseason. 

If he really wants to play, Markieff could easily swap jerseys with his brother and trot out onto the floor without fear of being caught. Come to think of it, having twins on a roster is a good strategy to thwart a lot of NBA rules.

Sep 30, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Marcus Morris (left) poses for a portrait with twin brother Markieff Morris during media day at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

If one twin happened to foul out, he could just re-enter the game in his brother's jersey. And in situations like this, it's almost impossible to make a suspension stick.

Then again, if there was a real opportunity to beat the system with twins, there's no way Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey would have traded Marcus to the Suns in the first place.