Despite limited playing time, Archie Goodwin flashed plenty of potential for a 19 year old rookie with an impressive Summer League debut, dominating performances in the D-League, and by finishing the season with the best outing of his young career.
So how awesome was it that Goodwin sacked Sactown in the team's final game this season? As far as grading goes, it's akin to killing his final exam. Although he definitely put an exclamation point on his rookie year with that 29 point career high performance, most of his season was much more sedate. Depending on how you want to look at it, Archie was a casualty of the Suns success.
In the end, there just wasn't a lot of spare playing time left over for a 19 year old rookie on a playoff contending team. That played into Goodwin having two quick stints in the D-League this season, one at the end of January and one in early February.
In five games (two starts) for the Bakersfield Jam Goodwin averaged 26.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. He shot a very respectable .494 from the field and .385 from three point range. He even shot .810 from the line on an impressive 8.4 attempts per game. The only real blemish on his record there was his 4.2 turnovers per game.
In a way, though, that's more cause for relief than a harbinger of future NBA success. I mean, really, what NBA player doesn't excel in that type of environment? See Marshall, Kendall.
But let's get back to the association. Here's a fun stat (now that we can make light of the hellish season just two years back).
In 2012-13 the Suns had seven players who finished with a WS/48 of 0.00 or lower (negative). Wesley Johnson, Hamed Haddadi, Kendall Marshall, Marcus Morris, Michael Beasley, Luke Zeller and Diante Garrett.
Yes, those guys were all on the Suns. What a cringeworthy collection of talent.
The magnificent seven combined to play 4,021 minutes for a net of -2.2 wins (2.2 losses).
Are you wondering where I'm going with this?
For the 2013-14 season Archie Goodwin had the lowest WS/48 of any player on the Suns... it was .018. Better than nearly half of the 2012-13 roster.
That he finished lowest on the team in this category isn't really a knock on Archie, either, it is just a testament to how every single player had a positive impact on the team.
Goodwin made 52 appearances during the season and averaged 10.3 minutes per game. The spot duty makes his 3.7 points per game look pretty anemic, so I'm going to focus on per36 numbers. His averages of 13.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.4 steals were pretty middle of the pack in terms of the team.
What stood out to me was where Archie was getting his shots and his success rate. Goodwin was second on the team in percentage of field goal attempts at the rim (.545) behind Viacheslav Kravtsov. He was getting more looks at the rim than Miles Plumlee and Alex Len. Then, by getting himself good looks Goodwin managed to tie Goran Dragic for best 2P% at .542.
Goodwin's biggest deficiencies were 3P% (.139), FT% (.673) and turnovers (3.0 - third worst on team). Not a surprise.
Basically Archie's stats are indicative of exactly what we expected from him this season.
Goodwin has flashed brilliance since I saw him in his Las Vegas Summer League debut in which he scored 13 points against the Portland Trail Blazers summer squad. What Ryan McDonough told me that day after the game still resonates with me as to what embodies Archie as a young player.
"Archie didn't shoot the ball very well (in college), that's an area he absolutely has to improve on, but he really knows how to get in the paint," commented McDonough. "He knows how to break down defenses and get to the basket."
What I saw in him that game translated to the NBA court as well...
Goodwin attempted a game high six free throws, making four, while displaying a mesmerizing combination of quickness and fluidity. Maybe graceful would be a fitting adjective?
That was the first time I saw him play in person, and I still think it embodies what he does fairly succinctly.
But in addition to the fluidity, I also saw some ferocity this season.
The best thing about these report cards is that all the writers here have total creative license to use any qualitative or quantitative methods they choose. Even the format is completely flexible. Maybe some will just be reviews and eschew my grading criteria completely. (Jim shakes fist)
In limited exposure Archie showed enough to give hope that he has the potential to grow into an effective player at this level. By all accounts he is a great teammate with an exemplary work ethic. He was even the consummate performer by leaving us wanting more after the season finale, but in the end he didn't do that much more than I expected. I think next year he'll have a better chance to crack the rotation, though, especially if he's in the gym shooting free throws and three pointers all summer. Maybe he can hit the weight bench, too. After all, he's only 19 and hasn't even grown into his NBA body.