Summer Suns drop another to Cavs


The big news of today revolved around the Suns officially completing deals for Hedo Turkoglu and Josh Childress, but summer league continued in Vegas nonetheless.

I skipped town Tuesday night (man, what a trip) so this analysis will be a little less comprehensive than the past few were.

In this one the Suns dropped a 93-82 decision to Cleveland behind a monster 34 and nine game from J.J. Hickson (no, this does not change my mind about February’s Amare to Cleveland possibilities).

Seth Pollack over at Bright Side writes that Earl Clark took a step back after playing his first decent game in Monday’s win over D-League Select. Clark went for 13 points on 6-for-14 shooting to go with just two boards, no assists and three turnovers. Those aren’t the kind of summer stats that will convince anybody he deserves a rotation spot, especially after the recent moves.

Earl’s lackluster play is undoubtedly the biggest disappointment of the summer. I expected him to be a different player during his sophomore season and to show signs of that this summer. By and large, he has looked like the same old Earl Clark during summer league.

However, he has not disappointed as much as Taylor Griffin, who is now 5-for-24 (20.8 percent) after another miserable game in which he scored two points on 1-for-4 shooting. He has looked nothing like an NBA player all week.

Scottie Reynolds sparked the Suns with eight points and nine assists. I chatted with head coach Alvin Gentry for a few minutes on Tuesday and he came away impressed with Reynolds’ summer debut the day before. He’s done enough in college to at least earn a camp invite for a team he feels fits his skills perfectly, and he could be an interesting prospect to keep in the Taylor Griffin role. He’s an electric enough player that he could eventually develop in the NBA.

Gani Lawal continued his solid summer with 16 points and eight boards. He’s come as advertised, and on a Suns team thin on legitimate post players, he certainly deserves a spot on this squad. I doubt he cracks the rotation, but he could in a few years with seasoning and he could help the Suns in spurts against big, physical teams.

Finally, Matt Janning impressed once again with 22 points on 9-for-14 shooting in 35 minutes of action. Majerle barely ever took him out because he’s such a heady player, always making the right decision, and in this game his shot clearly was on. I’m not sure if Janning has an NBA future because of what he lacks in the athleticism department, but he has the looks of a lucrative career in Europe in his future if nothing else.

Up next

The Suns finish up their summer league slate with a 3 p.m. game against Golden State that will be televised on NBA TV.


Tags: Earl Clark Gani Lawal Matt Janning Scottie Reynolds Taylor Griffin