Notes: Suns’ Archie Goodwin finding comfort in bench role


PHOENIX – For all of his basketball-playing 19 years, Phoenix Suns guard Archie Goodwin has played a starting role for his team. Now as a project who appears to be capable of earning minutes on a rebuilding team, he’s trying to adjust.

Goodwin finished Tuesday night’s 88-76 win against the Oklahoma City Thunder with 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting, but it took him a while to get involved. He didn’t play in the first half and after entering with four minutes left in the third quarter, the rookie out of Kentucky missed three three-pointers and turned the ball over on a charge call before he got back to Archie-ball – attacking the rim relentelessly.

“It just has a little bit to do with me getting used to coming in the game out of nowhere like that,” Goodwin said. “All through my career I was a starting player. I just have to get used to my role here and just keep adjusting.”

The rim became Goodwin’s enemy. So he started attacking it.

In the fullcourt, he recorded a steal at halfcourt and took it to the rack for a dunk that got him started. Goodwin later followed up a missed shot with a putback dunk over the top of Channing Frye and Oklahoma City rookie Steven Adams.

“We’re just going to have to try to live through some of (the mistakes) because he does a lot of good things out there,” Hornacek said. “Obviously he had that one tip-in where he went over the top of everybody. His shot – I don’t mind it. He shot it well this summer, he’s struggled so far this year.

“He might be 0-for-10 now in three-point shooting and his first nine shots were all short. At least the last one hit the back rim. He’ll find the middle. ”

But aside from the athletic displays, Goodwin is working on his passing. Hornacek said he’s pleading with the young guard to pass when he attacks the rim, and fellow guard Kendall Marshall was jokingly laughing at the notion of Goodwin passing in the locker room after the game.

NBA big men are too fast to allow Goodwin clear paths to the cup and finishes if he gets there. Once Goodwin starts kicking out to shooters, then the lane will only open up more as defenders refuse to leave the shooters on the perimeter.

“Just me being so aggressive, it opens up a lot of passing lanes,” Goodwin said. “That really was a result of guys sucking in and me kicking it to them. I just have to continue to feed my teammates from my aggressiveness.”

Markieff Morris ejection brings about interesting #HoopIdea

Suns forward Markieff Morris had a rough first half but grabbed five rebounds in five minutes to start the second half. But that success ended when Morris was ejected for a Flagrant 2 foul when Thunder forward Serge Ibaka took Morris’ elbow to the face.

Hornacek hadn’t seen the replay, but he defended Morris by wondering about the placement of the boxout lines for the rebounders.

“Sometimes at the free throw line, I think that’s been a question for the NBA that’s come up, is moving that line – that first box line – farther up the lane,” the Suns coach said. “I think the most of us think, the size of these guys, it’s a disadvantage to being in that bottom spot. Any miss is going to bounce where that second guy actually has the advantage. So we’re telling those guys, ‘You got to box out. You got to go into those guys.’ They got to hit them hard to get them away from that spot. Until they move that line up, you’re going to get a lot of that.”

Injury update

Eric Bledsoe suffered a thigh bruise that might limit him against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday. Bledsoe walked tenderly after the game but Hornacek said he wouldn’t be surprised if his guard is ready to go.

Meanwhile, Hornacek added that Goran Dragic could see limited minutes if he says he’s OK to play against the Nuggets.

On Tuesday, Ish Smith backed up Bledsoe as the point guard and Dragic sat out to rest his ankle. Second-year pro Kendall Marshall didn’t play.

Alex Len finds foul trouble again

Hornacek on rookie center Alex Len picking up four fouls in 10 minutes: “There’s physical play. There’s a lot of pushing by big guys, and that’s part of the game that’s going to happen and he’s got to know what he can do and what he can’t do. He just goes out there and thinks he’s playing physical and shoves a guy and the ref’s sitting right there. You’ve got to do it in sly ways.”

  • SHAZAM

    thanks for the plus one kevin

  • DBreezy

    I like Horny’s comments about Kieff’s foul and Len’s as well. Not for their content, but it’s him basically saying get used to the Suns playing more like Sloan’s teams who always made you feel their presence out there.

    For those who have gotten to the see the Suns so far, any idea of what kind of O they’re running when they can’t get a fastbreak? From the box scores and reports, it seems like if the Suns can’t run effectively, it’s like pulling a massive plug on them-almost like a 20 point swing. Those old Jazz teams never were great 3pt shooting squads but they scored all night with their sets. Seems like that may be in order for the Suns, but not having seen them yet I just don’t know.

  • Azbballfan

    I have watched a few Suns games

    and i can tell you right now its half court offense, ball pressure defense

    They hardly ran at all against OKC

    i thought both our rookies had solid games in limited minutes despite the explosion of fouls in the 2nd half

    The Suns have very rarely been a team that gets physical and pushes you around

    having PJ Tucker, Len, Bledsoe and Goodwin out there is a good thing

    hopefully our guys will be able to pick up on what the refs will let you do and whats a foul they will call

    one of the things that lead to bigmen getting in foul trouble is a break down in perimeter D, where the bigman has to slide over to defend someone after he gets past the guy on the perimeter

    hopefully they can do some tweaking and figure it out

  • EBJM

    With the Faried talks and the mention that Phil Jackson’ disciples have yet to have and significant success as head coaches, has Josh Kroenke surpassed Sarver and perhaps Jim Buss as the worst owner in the league?

    Fires COY George Karl after franchise record 57 wins and watched as EOY Ujiri decide to return to the Raptors. Kroenke claims he didn’t like the Nuggets run & gun style and was upset they lost to the Warriors despite losing their best player, Galinari to a torn ACL.

    Kroenke threw big money at Iggy but he bolted to G.S. for less money because he basically wanted no part of the impending Nugget train wreck. He cited the Warriors Mark Jackson and Warriors culture as his reasons. After Ujiri built the Nuggets to fit Karl’s life after Melo vision of returning to the Doug Moe model of running and scoring, nee coach is trying to slow then and into a half-court team.

    Hence the Kenneth Faried who excelled in the uptempo run & gun style, Shaw has really pushed the bigger PF s, Hickson, Randolph and Arthur to make the rotation. With Galinari still out they need Wilson Chandler to fill in and journey man Randy Foye is their best SG. This has seen Faried to mysteriously start being listed as a SF.

    With only Jordan Hamilton and French rookie Evan Fournier at SG, I believe a quality SG could open serious discussion for Faried. But they don’t need to give him away as they do have a $12 million trade exception from doing a sign and trade with the Warriors.

    I don’t think they want to pay Faried what he will probally command on the open market and really don’t think he fits Kroenke & Shaw’s long-term vision for the team. With that I would offer them Christmas, Lee and the Pacers 1st rd pick. Yeah, I know but Faried is basically a shorter Gortat.

  • DBreezy

    You can’t have a worst ownership discussion without including Michael Jordan, EBJM. Denver’s management is a mess without a doubt though as you say. Even if you want to get rid of Karl for whatever reason, their roster is not conducive to the style the owner wants, the style Phil Jackson would want, or the style of the Pacers where Shaw most recently came from. While they could theoretically approach the kind of defense that Indiana plays if Shaw gets buy in, their offense is built to run, run, and run some more. They have one proven shooter, who is injured and when he returns will probably face the kind of coverage Peja got when he was the last man standing in Sacramento or Mitch Richmond in the same city.

    I still wouldn’t give up a pick for Faried on this team though. Too much for the downside risk of him leaving because he wants more than the Suns are willing or should pay him next summer. I wouldn’t pay him now as they haven’t seen how he fits with this team and the potential to look foolish if the Suns are looking at Randle in the next draft. I’m fine if a deal can be put together without a pick.

  • Auggie5000

    @ebjm

    Faried a shorter Gortat? c’monson

    Faried is ALL motor. Gortat stands around. Their games are nothing alike.

  • Kevin Zimmerman

    DBreezy,

    Last night Hornacek actually made a comment about the Suns walking it up the court. And the tempo has been way different with Dragic out there running the point. As for your question about the offense, there’s a lot of early motion to get players/the ball moving and then if that breaks down it often goes into a pick-and-roll, which is apparently what needs to happen between Dragic/Bledsoe anyway.

  • EBJM

    Nothing alike? Both of their strengths are ahleticism and rebounding. Gortat had his best season running with Nash and the Suns. Neither have a low-post back to the basket game, neither have have a mid-range jumper, both play soft low-post defense, & neither have exceptional ball handling skills.

    Unlike other undersized 4s like Boozer, West or Milsap, Faried gives you nothing down in the box.
    Faried’s motor and rebounding made him look like the steal of the draft but Karl’s pace in Denver was the fastest in the league yet Faried only could manage somthing like 11 points per game. Th player he is probally most similar to, Udonis Haslem at least can hit a mid-range jumper. Haslem would be coming off the bench if the Heat ever get a center.

  • john

    Let’s not forget Donald Sterling when we’re taking about worst owners too. How many top picks has he wasted/traded in the past decade?

  • john

    And I’m with anyone who thinks it’s absurd to say there is a striking similarity between Gortat and Faried. They’re both big and they play in the NBA. That’s where the similarities stop, imo.

  • http://www.yavapai.com GoGoBots

    Kenneth Faried could have been had by the Suns in the Draft.

    Are the Phoenix Suns going to forever be undoing or trying to catch up to past missteps by their lack of knowledge about players? Player Personnel ie. scouting staff needs upgrading

  • DBreezy

    Kevin,

    Thanks for the info, can’t wait to see them for real soon. Seems like everyone else is on NBATV but them.

  • EBJM

    Wow! Striking similarity”. Where in the world was that posted? They both give similar production that is exagerated in fast-paced, uptempo systems like the Suns and Nuggets ran. Shaw came from Indiana where he had Hibbert and West and they ground it out inside. Shaw is using the same model where Fariad is struggling because he is all motor and minimal skills outside of rebounding. I think it was uis last came he started and went 1 fot 8 in about 20 minutes.

    You guys sure used a broad interpretation of a “shorter Gortat”.

  • EBJM

    Hindsight drafting is always 20/20. Suns could of drafted Marc Gasol whom I pushed for heavily, especially because Sarver was in cheap mode and they could of left him in Europe.

  • Azbballfan

    Len and Goodwin should get good minutes tonight, as well as the fringe guys like Nunelly

    might as well throw them out there in an evaluation game

    things start counting a week from today

  • john

    I never quoted anyone as saying the words “striking similarity.”

    Get your panties out of a bunch.

  • dave:f32

    @ebmj – Lol true that! When has Sarver ever not been in cheap mode? Oh yeah, when he`s trying to look like he knows what hes doin, by signing terrible players to bad contracts… He doesnt have a problem overpaying players then.