Eric Bledsoe has been out since late December, Leandro Barbosa has missed four straight games, and Goran Dragic couldn’t play against the Jazz. All these injuries gave 19-year-old rookie Archie Goodwin a chance to show what he’s learned the last several months in his short tenure as an NBA player.
Goodwin has only played in three of the last five games, since Dragic and Barbosa haven’t missed much time and there are still veterans like Ish Smith to run the offense and Gerald Green to score the ball ahead of the young rookie.
However, the Kentucky product didn’t disappoint when given his opportunity.
In the first of the three recent games Goodwin scored nine points and grabbed three rebounds in garbage time in the satisfying blowout of the rival San Antonio Spurs. He achieved those numbers in only 14 minutes, shooting 3-5 from the field and making all three of his free throws. That’s pretty good, but nothing compared to his next few games.
He didn’t get a chance to play against Houston as that game came down to the wire, where the Suns ultimately lost in a heartbreaking letdown.
Against Minnesota, Goodwin received a few extra minutes, scoring 10 points in 16 minutes. He also tallied five rebounds and a steal while continuing to shoot over 50 percent. This time he shot 5-9 from the field.
The rookie’s best performance however was in the absence of the Dragon. Against Utah, Goodwin played 27 minutes, matching his career-high of 16 points on 6-10 shooting, and even rattled in a three-pointer. He only made three of his seven free throws though. He stuffed the stat sheet also adding seven rebounds, an assist, a block and a pair of steals in the loss.
He’s making better decisions than he did earlier in the season, and even had a great spin move in the Utah game that was pretty fantastic.
He will hopefully be the distant bright future of the Suns, making a contribution when he can until then. He still gets most of his points off in transition, which isn’t too sustainable and need to significantly increase his shooting percentages, especially from deep. With that said, Goodwin will be a good player for a long time.