Josh Childress shines in training camp scrimmage

In Saturday’s story on Josh Childress, I focused on his rebounding prowess and versatile nature on defense.

In Saturday’s training camp scrimmage, he showed that we should be talking about his offensive game as well.

Childress scored a game-high 28 points on 11-for-13 shooting in the scrimmage to lead a team with Steve Nash, Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson and Jared Dudley to a 101-80 defeat of a squad featuring Goran Dragic, Grant Hill, Robin Lopez and Channing Frye.

Here’s Paul Coro on Childress’ performance:

It was hard to tell with how often Childress beat teammates upcourt on fast breaks, cut in half-court offense, got steals and deflections and crashed the boards.

He had five rebounds Saturday, when he scored almost exclusively by moving without the ball.

“He has an unbelievable feel for the ball,” Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. “He’s athletic enough that he’s going to get out and run. He’s going to be able to get out in front of the pack enough that he can come up with easy plays.”

Of his 28 points, he scored once from the perimeter. Otherwise, he slashed to catch and finish, once getting a baseline backdoor slam from Nash. On breaks, he had highlight moves with a swiveling score against Hill and a slicing left-hand finish.

Childress adds a Shawn Marion-type element of being able to produce on the offensive end without a lot of plays called for him. He’s the kind of perpetual motion player that will find seams in a rhythm offense that Phoenix plays.

Everybody talks about Turkoglu, but Childress’ acquisition was one of the more underrated of the summer. The fact that Childress ranks so highly in Wins Produced shows that he’s a high efficiency offensive player as well as a good rebounder, and if Prof. David Berri’s system is to be believed then the Suns have a bargain on their hands in Childress at a mid-level price.

Many other players shined as well in the scrimmage. Turkoglu’s 22 points on 7-for-11 shooting was nice to see, Nash’s game-high 10 assists were to be expected and Goran Dragic’s 17 and seven provided another affirmation of his rapid development.

But on a team with so many scoring threats you would not expect their defensive specialist and wing-rebounding extraordinaire to be the guy putting up all the points in the Suns’ intrasquad scrimmage.

Childress’ stellar camp punctuated by his fantastic scrimmage certainly bodes well for him making a bigger impact than most have him pencilled in for.

If only his Stanford Cardinal could have held on to their 21-3 in an eventual lopsided loss in Oregon, this would have been one heck of a day for Childress.

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