July 18, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Charles Garcia (30) dunks during the second half of the game against the New Orleans Hornets at the Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

The Phoenix Suns Summer League squad lost to a New Orleans Hornets team playing without both of their 2012 lottery picks, 78-61, dropping their record in Las Vegas to 1-2.

Markieff Morris again led the team with 13 points and six rebounds and Kendall Marshall finished with three points, five assists and two turnovers. However, the two combined to shoot 5-23 from the field and the team as a whole struggled to put the ball in the basket.

- "I feel like we have great energy and I feel like we were playing defense pretty good," Marshall said. "We’re a little undersized, but we just have to find a way to score the ball. I think we only had eight points in the third quarter and it’s tough to win that way."

The Suns struggled to find any kind of offensive flow all game and only shot 33.3% from the field as a team. The team settled for a lot of long jump-shots which didn't fall and turned the ball over 15 times. Suns Summer League head coach Dan Majerle said he believes fatigue had a lot to do with the offensive struggles.

- "We’ve had two-a-days for three straight days and then came here and we’ve been playing, you know, we’ve had two straight games and a scrimmage, so we’ve been working these guys pretty hard," Majerle said. "I’d expect they are pretty tired so the day off is good for us tomorrow."

Morris continued to show off his improved all-around game and hit some very difficult shots. However, he struggled to finish overall (4-13 from the field) and left the game early after slipping and hurting his knee. Majerle said the injury wasn't serious, though, and Morris could have returned if he needed to.

Marshall was more aggressive in his second game and looked for his shot a little more but struggled, going 1-10. He did hit a nice pull-up jumper after a series of jab steps and head fakes early in the game, but it was his only field goal of the game. Marshall did look more comfortable out on the court compared to his first game.

- "He’s got to figure it out," Majerle said. "I just told him to have fun, don’t worry about anything. He was a little nervous yesterday. I said you’ll figure it out and take your shot when it’s there. He’ll get it done. He’s a good player. You can see that he knows what he’s doing."

Marcus Landry was the only Sun other than Morris to reach double figures with 11 points behind 3-8 shooting from deep. Charles Garcia, who has already been invited to the Suns' training camp, made some nice plays and scored eight points, but struggled a bit overall with seven personal fouls and a team low -25. Still, Majerle is impressed with Garcia's work ethic.

"I think [Charles Garcia] is a good talent" Majerle said. "We’ve thrown a lot at him, he’s had a hard time taking it all in and remembering it. But he’s a guy who can get out and run, plays hard defensively, he can shoot the basketball ... He’s a joy to coach."

The Hornets had four players in double figures and were led by the 16 points of Brian Roberts, who replaced a banged up Austin Rivers in the starting line-up. Rivers sat out the game after hitting the ground hard in the Hornets' last game.

The Suns get tomorrow off to rest and recover before returning to the court on Friday night to face the D-League Select team. The game tips off at 8 p.m. Arizona time and will be shown online on Summer League Broadband.

Boxscore


Keep being a beast Keef.

The Phoenix Suns Summer League squad (1-1) takes the court tonight at 5:30 AZ time to take on the New Orleans Hornets (0-2). The game will be shown live on NBA TV and can also be seen online via Summer League Broadband on NBA.com.

The Suns are coming off of their first lost after falling to the Cleveland Cavaliers 89-74. For the second straight game, Suns forward Markieff Morris was the best player on the court. He struggled a bit from the field but went 9-10 from the free-throw line an posted a monster double-double with 24 points,17 rebounds and also chipped in 6 blocks. However, he continues to rack up the fouls. Hopefully he can finish the game with less than six fouls.

Tuesday night's game was also the professional debut of rookie Kendall Marshall, although it was less than impressive. Marshall finished the game with just five assists to go with five turnovers, an air-balled his only field goal attempt. Marshall appeared to be nervous and perhaps a tad bit rusty after having to stay off the court for some time while recovering from the injury that ended his college career.

Look for Marshall to settle in a bit more today an play more under control. Hopefully he can develop some chemistry with his teammates and show off the distributing prowess that made him the 13th pick in the draft. Summer League head coach Dan Majerle said after Tuesday's game that he wants the rookie to be more aggressive and look for his own shot a bit more, so we'll have to keep an eye on that.

The Hornets are lead by Austin Rivers, the tenth overall pick in this year's draft. Rivers has been less than impressive in the Hornets' first two games, averaging 10 points an 3.5 assist while shooting 21.1% from the field including 1-8 from beyond the arc. Rivers is playing plenty of point guard for the Hornets, so the match-up between he and Marshall is one of the major story-lines of this game. Apparently, the Marshall-Rivers match-up won't be happening as Rivers is hurt and will sit out this game.

Lance Thomas, the second year man and undrafted forward out of Duke has probably been the team's best player and is coming off of a 22-point performance. We might see a little bit of him matching up with Morris, which should be fun to watch (although Thomas is playing the 4 and Morris has played mostly 5 for the Suns). Other players to keep an eye on are Xavier Henry, the 12th overall pick in 2010 and Darius Miller, their second round pick this year.

Now here are some news bullets for you:

  • As Alex noted here, the Suns have officially invited forward Charles Garcia to training camp. Garcia is a 6-foot-9 229 pound forward who is playing for the Suns in Vegas.
  • The Portland Trailblazers have signed former Suns guard Ronnie Price to the veteran's minimum. Price may not have lit it up as a Sun, but he was a true professional an played hard every time he got on the court. Best of luck to Ronnie from us here at the Bright Side.
  • Goran Dragic will officially be introduced as a Sun (again) tomorrow after signing his contract. For those of you who haven't heard Dragic will be wearing the number 1 instead of the 2 he wore in his last stint as a Sun.

Now I leave you with some words of wisdom from Kendall Marshall as he prepares for tonight's game:

Swimming pools.

— Kendall Marshall (@KButter5) July 18, 2012


Ladies and Gentlemen, Kendall Marshall.

The Suns have been busy bringing back Goran Dragic, signing Michael Beasley, claiming Luis Scola and whiffing on O.J. Mayo. We discuss all that plus Kendall Marshall's inglorious professional debut at Vegas Summer League.

Hosted by Bryan Gibberman and Seth Pollack and presented by Arizona Sports 620 and SB Nation Arizona.

Subscribe on iTunes or stream online after the jump.

Enjoy


Both Goran Dragic and Channing Frye were up early this morning and engaged in a pretty funny conversation. For those who follow them on Twitter you know what I'm talking about.

@Goran_Dragic what are you doing up this early?

— Channing Frye (@Channing_Frye) July 18, 2012

"@Channing_Frye: @Goran_Dragic what are you doing up this early?" I'm flying to Phoenix.

— Goran Dragic (@Goran_Dragic) July 18, 2012

@Channing_Fryejust remember hit some shoots:) lol thank you. It's nice to be back with you guys

— Goran Dragic (@Goran_Dragic) July 18, 2012

Hey if u want assists pass to me I'm not gonna dribble. Lol have a great flight man. Excited to get back out there

— Channing Frye (@Channing_Frye) July 18, 2012

Another great tweet - Goran Dragic in response to a fan who mistakenly blamed Goran for the concussion that Nolan Smith of the Portland Trailblazers sustained last night. I don't know if it's just me, but it's just easy for me to literally hear Goran's voice when I read his tweets - sometimes that doesn't happen with other players/people but with Goran it never fails.

"@teemunny: .@NdotSmitty Get well and heal up, Bro. Cheap hit by @Goran_Dragic. What a dick."go to eye doctor! I didn't play in this game

— Goran Dragic (@Goran_Dragic) July 18, 2012

It was actually Goran's brother Zoran who is playing for the Houston summer league squad that landed an inadvertent elbow to Smith's head as he went up to challenge a shot near the end of the game. The game was called early due to the injury as training and medical staff carted Smith away on a stretcher. He was released later that night from the hospital and scans came back negative.

Kendall Marshall is Baby Simba

Covered in Jim's recap of yesterday's game - Marshall struggled a bit in his first 'real' NBA game going 0-1 from the field and dishing just 5 assists with 5 turnovers.

It's understandable and he shouldn't feel bad and nor should fans get excited or depressed about one game. What we all can take away from his first game day's experience is that he is eager to learn and improve. He took to to twitter today to philosophically blow the minds of his followers.

Lions weren't always big, they started as baby cubs. think about it.

— Kendall Marshall (@KButter5) July 18, 2012

I'm going to assume you need some help 'thinking about it' like Kendall suggests - let me break it down.

KButter is little baby Simba, barely born and freshly taken from the warm college placenta, his womb of comfort. He was brazenly held high by the Phoenix Suns organization before the entire wilderness of Planet Orange and we all bowed to one knee and chanted, "Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba! Sithi uhm ingonyama!" [Here comes a lion, Father, Oh yes, it's a lion - yes those are the real words]

Needless to say - he's got to find Nala and explore the bone yard, fight some hyena's, make friends with a warthog and a meerkat, fall in love with Nala, kill scar and grow a real mane and develop an NBA roar before he can even think about turning into the grown up Lion-Simba that runs the pride and makes sure the circle of life and all that junk works according to plan.

Give him some time.

That's all I've got for now - stay tuned - Seth has a new podcast coming out shortly.


PHOENIX — Luis Scola was not surprised that he became perhaps the best player yet to fall victim to the amnesty process. The Rockets after all informed him shortly after the draft that he did...

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