Summer Suns drop finale to Warriors

The Phoenix Suns’ summer league finale went just like every other summer game this week in Vegas against an NBA opponent — with another loss, this time dropping an 86-76 decision to the Golden State Warriors.

The Summer Suns trailed by just one entering the fourth, but the Warriors pulled away while Phoenix scored just 13 in the deciding period.

Zabian Dowdell was the Suns’ star, contributing 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting and nobody else played particularly great.

Earl Clark hit just 5-of-16 shots to get his 14 points, but he added 10 boards and three assists for his first double-double of the summer. Gani Lawal chipped in with 14 on 6-for-15, and Taylor Griffin continued his atrocious shooting summer with five points on 2-for-6 marksmanship, but he did record a stellar +16 in 14 minutes.

On the other end of the +/- minus spectrum, Scottie Reynolds was -26 in 26 minutes, going for seven points on 3-for-8 shooting. It was his first poor performance after a pair of really nice outings (16 points in one game, nine assists in the other), and for that he earned an invitation to training camp, according to The Arizona Republic.

Reynolds deserves that shot, and while he could still choose to go to training camp somewhere else, I bet he will go with Phoenix considering the conversation I had on Monday with him about how similar the Suns are to Villanova and how well he feels his skills fit this system. I would like to see Reynolds make the roster.

That’s especially true considering Griffin looked nothing like an NBA player in Vegas. He hit just 7-of-30 shots (23.3 percent) and 2-of-12 from distance (16.7 percent). Griffin’s a good athlete, but he just doesn’t have the perimeter game necessary to be an NBA player.

I will get to Earl Clark in a full-length feature later today, but in short he did not impress this summer. Clark was the best player on this team, yet he did nothing to show he deserves to be part of the Phoenix Suns’ rotation in 2010-11.

Saving the best for last, Gani Lawal enjoyed a real productive summer. He was consistent throughout (scoring between 14-18 every game) and overall averaged 15.4 and 7.4 on almost 50 percent shooting. I’m not sure if he will earn rotation minutes this season, but he’s the kind of guy you could throw out for a few minutes at a time to do all the dirty work and make all the hustle plays. If he continues to develop his post game, the Suns might have a second-round find on their hands.

The Summer Suns lacked the high end talent of some of the other entries in Vegas, so their 1-4 record isn’t a surprise. Overall the play of Lawal and Reynolds should be seen as a positive development and the play of Clark and Griffin as a disappointment.

Tags: Earl Clark Gani Lawal Taylor Griffin

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