The Phoenix Suns training is officially over. After four long days of grit, sweat and learning, the 2012-2013 Suns await their first preseason against the Sacramento Kings at Sacramento this upcoming Wednesday. The Suns training camp was closed off to the media for the most part but through some research and sources I’ve got some answers for the readers. So let’s recap the Suns 2012 training camp with a 4 on 4.
1) Who was the most impressive player at the Suns training camp?
From what I know, it was by far Wesley Johnson. Alvin Gentry who has been a great motivator for young players but giving them freedom and praising aggressiveness and it has certainly rubbed off on Johnson. Johnson was aggressive going to the basket and had sniper vision from outside. Johnson’s superb training camp play should earn him a lot of minutes during preseason games and should his high level of play at camp translate to preseason games, he’ll see a lot of minutes in Alvin Gentry’s rotation this upcoming season.
2) Who made the most improvement?
Well according to Jared Dudley, it was Kendall Marshall. Dudley made a statement regarding Marshall’s growth on his jumper and his aggressiveness from the point guard position. Playing behind Goran Dragic is almost the perfect situation for Marshall. Dragic’s aggressiveness attacking the paint is something Marshall will need to learn, Marshall is already a great passer but until he can learn to be a threat to score going to the basket he won’t live up to his full potential.
3) Who was the “Leader”?
No doubt about it, it was Jared Dudley. As most expected, Dudley was the voice among the group. According to Dudley, he was the most talkative player last season on the Suns, even more so than Grant Hill and Steve Nash. Dudley will be the rock for this young Suns team no doubt about it.
4) What’s the best aspect about the 2012-2013 Phoenix Suns group?
According to Alvin Gentry, it’s their hustle & effort. Not to say the past Suns teams lacked effort but they certainly weren’t known for it. This year’s Suns team has a lot of incentive to play hard on both ends of the floor and give it “120%” As Goran Dragic would call it. This season players 1-12 are hungry for playing time and players 1-12 are all talented enough to take minutes away from one another night in and night out which creates a sense of competition among each other every single day in practice and ultimately will produce great results. That wasn’t really the case last season as Steve Nash, Grant Hill, Jared Dudley, Channing Frye and Marcin Gortat were starters for most of the season; the only guy in that line-up who was in danger of losing his spot was Frye, who at one point lost his starting spot to Markieff Morris in the beginning of the season and again due to injury. However on this year’s Suns squad the only two guys who have security in the starting line-up are Goran Dragic, and Marcin Gortat. Not to dismiss Marshall or Telfair’s skillset but neither guy is a threat to take Dragic’s spot unless Dragic completely stinks up the place or Dragic gets hurt; a 33 year old Jermaine O’Neal isn’t exactly going to dethrone Gortat. But for everyone else, it’s going to be a battle all season long to keep their spot in the line-up or minutes in the rotation.