Suns Retorter: Summer League Suns Perfect for Vegas
The NBA’s version of Comi-Con is just days away. It’s a basketball convention that will lead hoops-nerds deep into the desert to give them a vision of the future. Whether those visions are real or a heat-related mirages, only time will tell. That fact won’t extinguish my excitement and shouldn’t damper yours, because Summer League is all about hope and potential and it’s almost upon us.
The Summer Suns head to Las Vegas at the end of the week and it promises to be another 11 days of basketball nirvana. It is the one time of year that is as much about enjoying the game as it is about whether a team wins or loses (although winning, like last summer, makes it that much more interesting). It’s a time that really puts the FUN in fundamental for fans and provides for irrational basketball crushes (SEE: Onuaku, Arinze) that are bigger stretches than those required in a yoga class and nicknames that are even more ridiculous (SEE: , Archie AKA the Monsoon).
The 2014 version promises to provide just as much intrigue and antics as last year’s team that made it all the way to the championship. This incarnation features guys with famous NBA pedigrees (Seth Curry and David Stockton), a group of NBA sophomores looking to take the “leap” (Alex Len and Goodwin), a 7-footer who started 79 NBA games and has almost as many highlight dunks and blocks (Miles Plumlee) and a group of rookies looking to prove they belong (TJ Warren, Tyler Ennis and Alec Brown). It’s a group made for Sin City, one that will go for broke by scoring big.
The potential offensive fire power is impressive when you look at the roster. So much so that we may have to petition the league board of governors to let two basketballs be used for the month of July.
Seth, the son of NBA sharp-shooter Dell Curry and the brother of Stephen Curry, has the scoring genetics you’d expect. He’s a guy who averaged 19.7 points and 5.8 assists a game in the D-League last season and dropped 44 points in a playoff game in said league.
Rookie small forward TJ Warren can score at will -- or whatever the name of his defender is-- and almost on demand. During his final season at North Carolina State he averaged 24.9 points a game and found seams in the defense that the normal human wouldn’t see let alone fit through. (Note to self on potential nickname: The T in TJ may stand for Transformer.)
Goodwin proved he can make it rain last July as he averaged 13.3 points a game in Vegas. He showed flashes of the same ability to get to the rim and efficiently score in his rookie season with the Suns, where in the final game of the season he dropped 29 points on 11-of-13 shooting.
Len will get his first taste of Summer League equipped with something to prove and a jumpshot that has the potential to surprise. And Plumlee is looking to show that his first season as a starter was just the beginning of his high-flying offensive antics.
And that’s before you add in the interesting offensive specimen that is Suns second round pick, Alec Brown. At 7-1 he averaged almost 16 points in his senior year at Wisconsin-Green Bay and even more impressively hit 17-of-25 three pointers at the NBA Draft Combine.
Plus, you have two guys who are known for their panache for passing to get them the ball in Ennis and Stockton to get these weapons the ball. At Syracuse Ennis had a 3.24 assist to turnover ratio which was the eighth best in all of the NCAA last season. Stockton as a Gonzaga Bulldog showed flashes of the kind of skills that made the name on the back of his jersey world renowned in the 1990s.
The basketball Comi-Con is coming and the Suns seem poised to have a large and entertaining booth at the convention. And the best part of it all? When it starts on Saturday, dressing up in matching outfits is optional unlike in San Diego.