The Morris twins are used to sharing the basketball court. They played together in high school, played 109 games together starring at Kansas, and played 82 games together in Phoenix.
Then, the Suns swung a trade. That offseason trade that sent Marcus, Reggie Bullock and Danny Granger to Detroit for a second-round pick made both Marcus and Markieff feel "betrayed" and disrespected."
The two had signed a pair of extensions in the offseason they felt were below market value but the team broke them up before the extensions even took effect.
Friday, the twins will be reunited, but instead of playing together they will be facing off against each other. While the game might be emotional for the Morris twins, it's a pivotal jumping off point to a grueling six-game west coast swing for the Pistons.
Playing against each other is a foreign concept for both, only happening once before when the twins were rookies with Phoenix and Houston. Neither brother played much, with Markieff getting the victory, four points and four rebounds in 17 minutes. Marcus had to settle for 11 minutes of actions and only two points.
Things will be different Friday. Markieff is scuffling through the worse season of his career, averaging 12 points and 5.8 rebounds on 34 percent shooting so far in this young season. Marcus, on the other hand, has thrived with his expanded role in Detroit. His mid-range, post-up game has been a lifeline for Detroit's scuffling offense and he is averaging 17.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 38 minutes per game, all career highs.
While Marcus starts at small forward, he might see more time at power forward as Stan Van Gundy looks to reshape his bench usage. That means the Morris twins could be guarding each other for stretches of this game. I hope they enjoy facing off a little more than the Williams sisters do.
Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, AZ
When: Friday, Nov. 6, 2015, 9:30 P.M. EST
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit
Exceptionally Detailed Analysis
Behind Tyson Chandler and Eric Bledsoe, Phoenix has fashioned itself an imposing defense even while the offense continues to find its footing. Sound familiar? The Suns have the seventh-ranked defense, per basketball-reference, while Detroit brings in the fourth-best defense.
It also brings together the two top rebounding teams in the Associations, with Detroit averaging 53.3 rebounds per game and Phoenix averaging 50.4. The biggest thing Detroit will look to exploit in this matchup is the Suns' propensity to give up fast-break points.
Detroit hasn't been able to create many transition opportunities so far this season, but they seem to have the personnel to be a dangerous running team. The Suns give up 17.4 fast-break points per game, while the Pistons are only converting 8.0 points per contest so far.
As with the Indiana Pacers, the Suns defense promises to be aggressive and go for steals. Detroit must clean up its sloppiness and take better care of the ball if it hopes to win.
Andre Drummond vs. Tyson Chandler
Drummond will be going against perhaps the player he is destined to become, and it will be a constant battle to protect the paint and grab rebounds. Because both teams will be looking to generate their offense primarily through point guard penetration, whoever wins the big man matchup could decide who wins the game.
Last Time We Met
Pistons 105-103 Suns, Dec. 12, 2014
Detroit secured the second-to-last win of the Josh Smith Era, snapping a 13-game losing streak. Andre Drummond led the team with 23 points and 14 rebounds. Markieff Morris and Eric Bledsoe combined to go 13-of-22 for 33 points and 13 rebounds in the game.
I'll be rooting for the Pistons to win.
Pistons: Jackson, Caldwell-Pope, Morris, Ilyasova, Drummond
Suns: Bledsoe, Knight, Tucker, Morris, Chandler
Pistons: Jennings (Achilles), Meeks (foot)
More likely, a Morris twins shoving match or poor Brandon Knight gets posterized by somebody?