Western Notes: Morris, Jones, Leonard

Suns power forward Markieff Morris apologized to his teammates and the coaching staff and was allowed to return to the team after serving his two game suspension for throwing a towel at coach Jeff Hornacek during a game last week, Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic relays. “We kind of put it out there what we wanted from him, what we expected,” Hornacek said. “He’s been good for us in the past. We want him to get back to playing like he did last year. It’s been a struggle this year.  We basically tried to get a feel if he was good for that. He said he wanted to get back and help his teammates and help us win.

We definitely had a successful meeting and I’m just happy to be back,” Morris said. The forward also indicated that he regretted the comments he made over the summer regarding his desire to be traded, Coro notes. “I could’ve did that different based on the fans,” Morris said. “I think I owe the fans an apology for saying some of the stuff I said. They deserve better.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • Wolves point guard Tyus Jones is hopeful that his time spent in the D-League this season will translate into more minutes at the NBA level, writes Kent Youngblood of The Star Tribune. “You do go down there trying to prove a point,” Jones said. “Trying to make a statement. I think I played pretty well down there.” The rookie is averaging 24.7 points and 5.0 assists in six contests for the Stampede this season.
  • After re-signing with the Spurs this past offseason, small forward Kawhi Leonard has taken on an increased role in San Antonio’s offense, much to the delight of coach Gregg Popovich, writes Fran Blinebury of NBA.com. “He’s a lot more demonstrative scoring-wise,” Popovich said. “When he gets the ball, he tries to make opportunities for himself. I don’t have to call his number. In transition offensively, he’s looking for situations where he can post up. Mismatches more. Those are probably the main things. More aggressive offensively and understanding that he can do some things that people can’t guard very well. And yeah, there’s been a incremental increase in the volume of his language.”
  • The Kings need to suspend center DeMarcus Cousins for his latest outburst that resulted in his ejection from Monday night’s contest against the Warriors, Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee opines. Voisin believes that the organization needs to stop treating Cousins with kid gloves and force him to mature, and she also believes that any suspension should be initiated by the organization and not the league if it is to truly register with the big man.
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