NBA Playbook breaks down Gani Lawal and Earl Clark


Sebastian Pruiti of NBA Playbook does a really nice job of breaking down Gani Lawal’s performance in summer league, where he was named to the all-tournament team after averaging 15.4 and 7.4 on about 50 percent shooting. Here are Bassy’s conclusions on Lawal:

In my opinion, Gani Lawal’s performance during the Las Vegas Summer League should guarantee him a roster spot, especially with the Suns looking to replace the production of Amar’e Stoudemire. There is a lot to like about Gani Lawal’s game, but he does need to improve his outside shot before he can truly be a factor for the Phoenix Suns. Even with that iffy jumper, I can see him being a spark guy coming off the bench and giving good and physical minutes in spurts.

From the three games I watched, I would echo many of the points Sebastian makes. I was particularly impressed with how Lawal ran the floor for a big. He would take off like a gazelle once a rebound was corralled, and such hard running will pay off when Steve Nash is on the floor with you.

He also did live at the free-throw line, and Lawal himself admits that his free-throw shooting needs significant work.

If Lawal can take this season to develop a jump shot and improve at the line, the Suns could have a second-round steal on their hands. If not, he projects to be a serviceable bench player nonetheless.

Clark’s average summer league performance

Bassy also breaks down the highs and lows of Earl Clark’s summer league stint, which I have previously discussed at length.

Pruiti writes:

Clark’s Summer League performance was average at best with a few great plays sprinkled in, showing flashes of what Suns’ fans hope Earl Clark can become with more playing time.  However, for the most part during Summer League, I saw an unwillingness to attack the basket from Clark.

Pruiti delves into some of the finer points of why Clark struggled in the half court during summer league, often settling for a mid-range jumper instead of attacking the rim. He also applauds Clark for some of his open-court abilities, which should mesh nicely with Steve Nash.

Tags: Earl Clark Gani Lawal

  • Mel.

    The more I read about Gani, the more it sounds like he’s going to be a natural fit for the Suns’ bench, particularly with the loss of Lou. There’s no team in the NBA that’s as solid in making a second or third-rotation bench player feel like a potentially integral part of what’s happening on the floor, thanks to Gentry’s coaching style and ability to bring out the best in his guys.

    Definitely an upshot for the new season.