Playing against the Warriors is, in itself, a trying exercise. Some teams quiet their frustrations to give Golden State a decent run. Others let the breakdowns in transition and failures in coverage become a point of in-game contention—a self-defeating factor against an opponent that feeds off of that dynamic.
Phoenix flared up in rather dramatic fashion in its 112–104 against Golden State on Wednesday, when Markieff Morris and Archie Goodwin got into an altercation on the bench and had to be separated by teammates. This was not a positive sign for a team looking to find its center after turning over to interim head coach Earl Watson:
It’s natural to focus on Morris, known malcontent that he is, in this particular incident. Yet according to Fansided’s Michael Dunlap, Morris may not have been the instigator here. The story, as Dunlap saw it, was detailed in a string of tweets:
Markieff was trying to console/encourage Archie, who started the game about as bad as he possibly could. Archie dismissed him. Markieff continued trying to coach up Goodwin, but [Goodwin] wasn't hearing it and instead swiped [Morris] away (saw in video). [Morris] then went nuclear. Coming out of that timeout, Archie was screaming and cussing at P.J. Tucker as well.
That paints a very different picture from the video alone. Morris escalated matters by meeting a heated discussion with a shove to Goodwin’s neck, but the hot-headed Goodwin seems (per the information reported thus far) to be at least somewhat responsible for creating the situation in the first place.
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Goodwin, for his part, disagrees; at the end of that clip, he can be heard clearly saying, “Everything ain’t always my f------ fault.”
Morris addressed the incident after the game.
Phoenix dropped its ninth straight and fell to 14–40.