In unfortunately the last game of basketball until the end of September when training camps start up, the Suns’ undefeated streak came to an end with the 91-77 loss to the Golden State Warriors.
The game was pretty close throughout and Phoenix probably would have won if a bench player for the Dubs hadn’t played out of his mind. Ian Clark went for 33 points in 28 minutes, shooting 12-19 from the field and 7-10 from behind the arc. Clark kept getting open looks from deep due to the penetration of Kent Bazemore, who had a phenomenal summer league, along with bad defensive rotations by Phoenix.
The reason the Suns lost was because they just had defensive lapses at crucial times when they needed precision execution to catch up with the Warriors. Also they didn’t have anybody get hot from the bench to keep up with Clark’s hot shooting.
Again, Archie Goodwin was spectacular. He had 18 points off 6-11 shooting; only missing one free throw and went 1-3 from the three-point line. It is astonishing how he can finish in the lane with contact. Also, his floater is spot-on and SO polished (in the realm of Tony Parker) for someone so young.
P.J. Tucker had 12 points, but didn’t seem to impact the game as much as usual. But you can’t really blame him, he is the reason they even got to the summer league championship game. Everyone has an “off” game, if you can even call this an off game.
Apart from Goodwin, the guard play wasn’t there Monday, as Kendall Marshall had only 2 points, 4 assists and a couple turnovers. That’s not very many stats for someone who played more than 17 minutes. However, his 2 points were eye-opening. He blew past his man and slipped into the paint for a nice finger-roll over the Golden State frontcourt. Additionally, Marshall got into the passing lanes for 2 steals.
Garrett again had a high plus/minus (a team-high for people who played more than 2 mins), but he had only 4 points and played more than 15 minutes. Dionte Christmas did not have a good game. His calling card seems to be energetic defender and instant offense off the bench. He had zero points and a -8 plus/minus in the championship game.
The Morris twins played decently, but Phoenix needed more from them if they were going to win the trophy. Markieff doesn’t have as good of a perimeter shot as Marcus and needs to stop taking the three-pointer from the top of the key.
Arinze Onuaku had 6 points, which is decent since he was not a focal point of the offense and since the tempo of the game was fast-paced, which doesn’t play to the strengths of pounding, post-up big men, like Onuaku. Someone said he should be that camp invite to make the team and now I’m convinced as well. Phoenix is a bit guard heavy with Dragic, Bledsoe, Goodwin, Marshall, Garrett, Brown, Butler, Marcus Morris, and Beasley all at the PG, SG, and SF positions. Onuaku could be a low-salary back-up third center in case of injury or as a stop-gap if a trade happens and the Suns need an extra body down low.
This summer league was about bringing a winning culture back to the desert and developing the young guys, seeing what they can do against similar competition.