NBA Summer League: Suns hit 100 as Archie Goodwin shines

Making an impact is easy in the NBA for someone with talent. Being consistent is another sort of deal. Archie Goodwin has seen the ups and downs of being talented but he’s lacking the experience to make an impact each game. And that’s shown through three games in the Las Vegas Summer League.

On Tuesday, Goodwin scored 14 first-half points after Monday’s game where he turned the ball over five times, fouled four times and scored just two points. He finished Tuesday’s 100-88 win against the Memphis Grizzlies with 22 points on 6-of-11 shooting as Phoenix moved to 3-0 in the summer league’s regular season of sorts.

Goodwin showed it all against the Grizzlies. He went 3-for-3 from deep, got to the foul stripe and would have scored more if he hadn’t gone 7-of-11 from the charity stripe.

One reason Kendall Marshall’s transition game has come under question of late? Juxtaposed to Goodwin’s pure speed, it’s more than an inhibitor – it’s a pure disadvantage. Twice when Marshall by default tried to advance the ball via the pass, it was batted down by speedy, more athletic defenders attempting to get back in transition. Where Marshall passed because he’s not fast enough to run the break himself, Goodwin dribbled. Twice Goodwin threw down thunderous dunks in transition.

In the first half, Goodwin beat the defense down the court off a made basket. In the second, a rebound off a three-point attempt by Memphis saw Goodwin start nearly at the opposite end of the court before beating the rest of the field down for a dunk that also drew a foul.

Such displayed all the good things that could come in time for the 18-year-old out of Kentucky. And such is the reason that Marshall and the rest of the Lance Blanks scouted Suns are at risk of being moved.

Coach Jeff Hornacek didn’t give the veterans all that much playing time. Marshall played only 16 minutes and scored eight points to go with three assists. In his place, Diante Garrett played his best of the three summer games by dishing out 12 assists in 20 minutes.

Sputtering twins

For as telling as it is that Goodwin has consistency issues just three games into his pro career, it’s equally important – and more frightening – that the Morris twins still can’t put more than one or two solid outings together.

Yes, Hornacek did limit the playing time of the twins and Marshall in the first half, but the twins appeared disengaged because of that or otherwise.

Marcus Morris picked up the fourth technical foul by a Morris twin over three summer league games, not a good sign considering up-and-down summer league appearances, both within single games and overall. Marcus followed up his game-winning shot and poor shooting game on Monday against the Timberwolves by going 1-for-5 and fouling six times in just less than 14 minutes. He also had three turnovers and finished with four points, two boards and a block.

Meanwhile, Markieff Morris played more than 15 minutes and put in four points, five rebounds and two blocks. But he also had four personal fouls and two turnovers.

Tucker shows offensive improvements

It’s not like it matters and not as if he was struggling to score before — forward P.J. Tucker wasn’t really forcing any looks or getting good ones. But he took over in the third quarter Tuesday and showed his improvements on the offensive end. Tucker splashed some nice jumpers and showed better control on simple dribble-drives past slower, less athletic competition.

He scored 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting.

Tucker’s advancement on offense came as Iowa State product Chris Babb tried to show that, like Tucker, he is a thick perimeter defender who can hit jumpers. Babb scored 11 points and splashed three three-pointers on the evening.

During his senior season as a Cyclone, Babb averaged 9.4 points and shot 40 percent from the floor. He did hit 38 percent of three-pointer and projects in the NBA as a classic 3-and-D type of player.

Onuaku hits the boards, again

Arinze Onuaku has quietly been one of the most dominant rebounding forces in the Las Vegas Summer League, at least in terms of minutes played. On Monday, he grabbed 12 boards and scored 13 points in 20 minutes.

Postseason place

Phoenix should be in a solid spot in terms of seeding for the postseason of summer league action that is determined by wins and point differential by quarter, though they’ve trailed during most of the three games’ first halves.

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