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There is a not so subtle theme brewing in 2013 and we are just a few short months into the calendar year. In February the Harbaugh Brothers met on the gridiron for the Super Bowl and now with the recent acquisition of Marcus Morris by the Phoenix Suns there is brotherly love on the hardwood.

Marcus and Markieff Morris were teammates for 109 games in college, all throughout high school, and on the playgrounds coming up in Philadelphia. For the first time ever, for the last two years -- 698 days, they are back on the basketball court playing basketball together like they were telepathically born to do.

The duo is now reunited in Phoenix taking their journey from Philadelphia, to Kansas, and now to Phoenix (after a brief stint in Houston for Marcus).

Houston was never a situation that was comfortable for Marcus playing the first year and a half there including a stint in the Developmental League. The Rockets are a very deep at the time with a lot of players in similar positions and Marcus ended being the odd man out of the rotation.

"No, to be honest I never felt comfortable or myself (in Houston)," Marcus told me after his debut. "I don't feel a lot of people know my game because I had to take a backseat or the hid me in the back. I think here I will be able to open up and play my game and show everybody what I can do."

Getting traded to Phoenix was "exciting" and he "couldn't stop smiling." His debut included a pull-up three in transition, another long jumper, and two free-throws. All of those came while on the court in an unexpected appearance in a big loss to the Boston Celtics.

Now he can get back to feeling comfortable on the basketball court.

"It was cool man, I felt real comfortable, and I felt like myself for the first time in a while. I felt a little rusty, but as time goes on I will get better."

When they were in Kansas the duo was as effective as they come. Marcus was the scorer, Markieff was the rebounder, and they went on to win 101 games (six tournament games) in three years. The offense was cohesive with Marcus on the perimeter and Markieff in the paint to a tune of the 8th best offense in the Nation in 2010-2011.

Stylistically what they did in college is translatable to the next level. Marcus stretches the floor with his ability to shoot and handle the ball while Markieff cleans it all up in the paint.

"We have been intrigued for quite some time about the potential synergy from having both of the Morris twins on our team. So we are excited to have the opportunity to welcome Marcus to the Suns," said Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby.

Twin Magic as it has been coined has been a tale of two talents in the NBA as there is one more talented brother with the other being the his keeper. The Suns are all too familiar with that trend as they watched Robin Lopez and Taylor Griffin both play in the overcast shadow of their brothers Brook Lopez and Blake Griffin while here.

In college Markieff was Marcus' keeper, but that all changes as this is his team from a tenure standpoint, and to this point he has outplayed his brother on this level.

As Lon Babby pointed out, "the potential synergy" is intriguing, as is the potential that these two get back to their days playing Kansas as a potent 1-2 punch. The rational fear is that Markieff reverts back to where he was his entire life as a basketball player, back in the shadows of his older brother.

Can they replicate that off of the bench in the NBA? Time will tell on that, but the one thing that will happen is the two will be as happy and motivated as they ever have been as professionals.

"Definitely, for sure. You cannot just come in and think they are going to give you a spot," said Marcus about trying to avoid a similar situation with deep Suns roster. "

"So everyday -- day in and day out, I am going to do the same thing I did in Houston because I felt like I could have been with the starters over there or been playing significant minutes there. They played who they wanted to play over there. I think it will be a different situation here, people get a chance to go here."

The bench is poised with rookie Kendall Marshall leading the way and a litany of wings capable of playing alongside the twins in the front-court. This could lead to more time at the five for Markieff as he has the perfect mentor to help him transition from an offensive four to a dual threat five.

With Marcus and Markieff all set to sit next to each other on the bench in purple and orange the best should be brought out of both, but good luck to Interim Head Coach Lindsey Hunter in knowing who he is subbing in as he stares down the bench.

PHOENIX – Lindsey Hunter called a timeout exactly a minute into the game. The Phoenix Suns had ushered two Boston Celtics to the hoop for layups and fallen behind 4-0. They held it together against...

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Minutes after the final buzzer of a 113-86 loss to the Garnett-less, Rondo-less Boston Celtics, at home, hosting a team just 8-17 on the road and losers of two straight, Lindsey Hunter realized just how hard his job is going to be.

It smacked him in the face.

And it rained down on him from the stands, which happened to be full of Celtics fans on this night. By late in the fourth quarter, they were cheering louder than at most any time of this long, dreadful season. Except they were cheering for the Celtics, who hit everything they put up because it felt like a home game to them.

"That is totally unacceptable, coaching wise and player wise," he ranted. "The way we performed tonight, that cannot happen. I know people say all the time you cannot coach effort. I disagree because I am responsible and I feel like if I got to coach effort then that is what I have to do."

Teams often take on the persona of their coach, and Lindsey Hunter's career was defined by a defense-oriented moxie that wouldn't take any crap from anyone.

These Suns are nothing like that player, and that's why Hunter is here despite having no coaching experience.

"They had no respect for us," he continued. "I mean that is embarrassing. One of their Hall of Famers didn't play and they still come in here and smack you around like a punching bag and you are at home and there is no resistance.

"That is just not who I am and that is not who this team will be. "

"Whatever we have to do, whatever method, it will be done," he continued. "If guys [in the rotation] think they are entitled, then they won't play. If we have to pull guys out for not making rotations, then we will shuffle the deck until we find guys that are going to do what we have to do. Simple as that."

At this point in the season, making a fundamental change in the way a team plays the game of basketball is a tough thing to do. Games come fast and furious, and there's only two months left in the season.

But Hunter isn't buying any of those excuses.

"I guarantee you we will change or we will be practicing until they kick us out of the gym. Disrespectful, that's what I take that as. Just being disrespected.

"My father always told my always demand respect and while I am here we are going to work until we learn how to demand respect and I do not care how long it takes. I do not care how guys think we are going too hard or too long. Too bad."

From this point on, we will see what kind of coach Lindsey Hunter is. We will see if he can impose his will, his style on this team. In Hunter's mind, the Suns would scratch and claw from the opening tip to the final buzzer every single night.

That's what to watch for the rest of the season.

How much conviction and control does Lindsey Hunter have over his team? Does he really have the stones and latitude to bench some talented players for lack of effort? Can he really play Diante Garrett 30 minutes a night, while a high-paid guy watches the whole game from the bench?

Hunter is looking for effort. Consistent effort.

Let's see what he can do.

20130202_tjg_se9_564

Minutes after the final buzzer of a 113-86 loss to the Garnett-less, Rondo-less Boston Celtics, at home, hosting a team just 8-17 on the road and losers of two straight, Lindsey Hunter realized just how hard his job is going to be.

It smacked him in the face.

And it rained down on him from the stands, which happened to be full of Celtics fans on this night. By late in the fourth quarter, they were cheering louder than at most any time of this long, dreadful season. Except they were cheering for the Celtics, who hit everything they put up because it felt like a home game to them.

"That is totally unacceptable, coaching wise and player wise," he ranted. "The way we performed tonight, that cannot happen. I know people say all the time you cannot coach effort. I disagree because I am responsible and I feel like if I got to coach effort then that is what I have to do."

Teams often take on the persona of their coach, and Lindsey Hunter's career was defined by a defense-oriented moxie that wouldn't take any crap from anyone.

These Suns are nothing like that player, and that's why Hunter is here despite having no coaching experience.

"They had no respect for us," he continued. "I mean that is embarrassing. One of their Hall of Famers didn't play and they still come in here and smack you around like a punching bag and you are at home and there is no resistance.

"That is just not who I am and that is not who this team will be. "

"Whatever we have to do, whatever method, it will be done," he continued. "If guys [in the rotation] think they are entitled, then they won't play. If we have to pull guys out for not making rotations, then we will shuffle the deck until we find guys that are going to do what we have to do. Simple as that."

At this point in the season, making a fundamental change in the way a team plays the game of basketball is a tough thing to do. Games come fast and furious, and there's only two months left in the season.

But Hunter isn't buying any of those excuses.

"I guarantee you we will change or we will be practicing until they kick us out of the gym. Disrespectful, that's what I take that as. Just being disrespected.

"My father always told my always demand respect and while I am here we are going to work until we learn how to demand respect and I do not care how long it takes. I do not care how guys think we are going too hard or too long. Too bad."

From this point on, we will see what kind of coach Lindsey Hunter is. We will see if he can impose his will, his style on this team. In Hunter's mind, the Suns would scratch and claw from the opening tip to the final buzzer every single night.

That's what to watch for the rest of the season.

How much conviction and control does Lindsey Hunter have over his team? Does he really have the stones and latitude to bench some talented players for lack of effort? Can he really play Diante Garrett 30 minutes a night, while a high-paid guy watches the whole game from the bench?

Hunter is looking for effort. Consistent effort.

Let's see what he can do.

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The first game after the trade deadline, I wondered if the Suns would come out breathing fire or ice. It was ice. While the small-ball Celtics took it to the Suns, and right past them to the basket for a layup, the Suns stood around as if they had all eaten turkey and were ready to take a nap.

Boston started the game with a dominating 13-0 run that included only one jumpshot - the rest were layups and a free throw - while driving to the rim every time. The Celtics, resting Kevin Garnett, started an entire small-ball lineup with the "stocky" 6'8" Brandon Bass and wafer-thin 6'9" Jeff Green as their biggest players.

In the old days, the Suns would have thrown out a big smile with Amare Stoudemire at C and Shawn Marion at PF and run these guys out of the gym. In fact, Rivers never would have gone with that lineup, instead trying to bully Amare with Chris Wilcox.

But these are the slower, plodding Suns who boast Luis Scola and Marcin Gortat as the bigs, and Boston was able to take advantage. Gortat looked out of place and spacy (let's call it unengaged) and Scola was just too slow no matter hard he tried. And to his credit, he was trying hard.

On the wing, Goran Dragic waited until it was 13-0 Boston before asserting himself at all, while P.J. Tucker hustled his usual hustle but couldn't carry the team (or make a basket) and Jared Dudley made a couple of bad plays.

"I am not a fan of small ball," Hunter said before the game, of maybe going without a center sometimes.

It didn't take him long. Gortat and Dudley, two of the most talked about tradeable players, were replaced by Markieff Morris and Wesley Johnson within three minutes of game time. They must have had deadline-party hangovers. Or maybe its the realization that their season is just 27 more meaningless games.

The Suns came back a bit and outscored Boston 20-15 after the opening run, but the Suns were still down by 8 heading into the second quarter. Not a good-looking night for the guys in black.

Through the whole first half, the Suns played a step slow. Transition defense was horrible. No one stopping the ballhandler, no staying with their man, just floating in no-mans-land.

Mid-second, the Suns went with a 2-PG lineup of Dragic and Marshall to pick up the ball movement, along with Beasley, Dudley and O'Neal. That worked for a couple minutes, until Beasley threw the ball away on a fast break.

With a 10-point deficit and only 33 points in 18 minutes of play, Hunter gave the starters one more chance at the 6-minute mark as the Celtics went back to their small ball starters.

The Suns kept it close this time, but the Celtics held the Suns at bay and led by 12 at halftime. The Suns team was just not in synch while Boston looked like they were running on all cylinders.

Gortat continued his deep funk. In eight February games, the Polish Hammer has produced just 9 points and 6 rebounds in 26 minutes per game. By contrast, Jermaine O'Neal has produced 11 points and 8.4 rebounds in only 22 minutes a night. Preseason, Gortat did warn people he might hit a wall at some point this year after playing year-round with the Suns and Poland for three years straight. Here we are. Hope the wall is a short one.

On the opening possession of the second half, Tucker fought for about three o-boards on one possession (on Gortat's missed 15-footer) while Gortat floated out to midcourt waiting for Boston to get the ball.

The Suns played with a little more heart in the third quarter, but a combination of Boston guard Avery Bradley's dynamo defense on Dragic and the Suns' frantic (and ultimately bad) defensive rotations on the other end, the Suns could not cut the lead for longer than a possession or two and third ended with the Suns trailing 81-67.

At least the Suns offense was better than it has been lately. Already 67 points in only 3 quarters!

Boston brought in newcomers Terrence Williams (from overseas) and Jordan Crawford (from the Bullets) and even those guys played well despite only being with the team on the road trip.

Diante Garrett finally got some playing time alongside Dragic and Marshall in a 3-PG lineup with Markieff Morris and Jermaine O'Neal. Garrett had two assists within seconds on consecutive fast breaks with Dragic and Marshall.

But then the Suns gave up consecutive three-pointers to Crawford and Williams. Did I mention those guys just joined the Celtics in the last two days? On a road trip? That's how loose and free this game was. For them. And the Suns.

Hunter called another timeout with their biggest deficit yet: 21 points. What to do in the last 7 minutes?

Keep Dragic in, of course. he's only 1 assist shy of a third consecutive double-double.

Finally, Hunter put Marcus Morris is the lineup and after a couple of miscues, Morris made his first shot as a Sun: a three-pointer. Let's hope there's a lot more of those.

Boston extended the lead because they just couldn't miss - ending the game by making almost 60% of their shots.

The game wound down with the Celtics fans drowing out the crowd with a "Let's Go Celtics" chant.

it was one of those nights.

Dragic finished with 17 and 10, along with 5 rebs, 2 steals, 2 blocks and 5 turnovers.

Marcus Morris got 7 points, 2 steals and a rebound in the last 6 minutes of the game.

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