Markieff Morris has been at the center of a series of problems this season for the Phoenix Suns (Mwinog2777/Wikimedia Commons).

Markieff Morris has been at the center of a series of problems this season for the Phoenix Suns (Mwinog2777/Wikimedia Commons).

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A season that began with so much promise appears headed downhill and fast for the Phoenix Suns. In a span of nine days, starting in late December, the Suns fell to the 76ers, lost Eric Bledsoe for the season, fired their top two assistants, surrendered 142 points to the Kings and scored just 77 points in a loss to the Lakers. With Bledsoe out for the season, Markieff Morris clearly wanting out of town and Tyson Chandler not fitting in, things are likely to get worse before they get better. Andrew Lynch, NBA coordinator at Fox Sports, helps us sort it all out. Some of the highlights of our talk can be found below:

5:13 – 6:26: On why the Suns’ defense has struggled: “Strong-side pressure defenses require that everyone be on the same page. You don’t necessarily need five above-average defenders. You need guys making above-average decisions…(guys) who are in the right places, who are not cheating outside of the system…and frankly Phoenix (doesn’t) have that. (With) Tyson Chandler…the hope was that he would help with the communication on that, …(but) he doesn’t necessarily have the experience in this system that will lend itself to telling guys where they need to be at all times…You need someone like Bledsoe at the point of attack…putting pressure on the ball…to force the issue when an offense is trying to get into (its) primary actions…Guys aren’t communicating well, and when they aren’t communicating, they aren’t necessarily in the right spots.”

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