Suns face the Raptors today at 1 p.m. and we will get to see if yesterday's Earl Clark was the aberration or the start of a trend.

As we've pointed out countless times, don't read too much into these games or individual performances. You've got players like Clark and Lawal in roles they won't be asked to perform for the big league team. There are certainly guys that shine here, but those are generally players destined to be main contributors and not supporting players.

You could argue that Clark has that potential, but I don't think even the most optimistic Clark fan expects him to start for the Suns any time soon and certainly Lawal, at best, will be a bench energy guy that might see 10 to 15 minutes of play.

Still, it's plenty fun to see what they do well and what they don't do well and the big thing I'm looking for from Clark is improvement over yesterday.

The Raptors will have the services of DeMar DeRozan at shooting guard, which is a shame for poor Matt Janning, who showed some nice shooting touch in his first game but was pushed around by Jermaine Taylor. It will be interesting to see if Majerle puts Clark on DeRozan. I would certainly like to see that... otherwise, you can just pencil DeMar in for 20 points and 3 highlight dunks.

For more Summer League coverage and preview, see Ridiculous Upside.

[Note by Seth Pollack, 07/10/10 12:47 PM MST ]

Scottie Reynolds is still a no-go (Achilles strain). Not looking so good for him. Suns are disappointed they can't get a look at him, but that's the breaks. Still not ruled out for rest of the games, though.

Robert Sarver is here for this game. He was spotted chatting with Bryan Colangelo. Just a friendly chat... don't get any ideas.


OK, folks... today, let's have some fun.

There's been a lot of panic over the last few weeks since Kerr announced he was leaving, and then when Amare left, as well. Suggestions to acquire this player and that player, despite our complete lack of need or that player's limitations of being under contract with another team. Usually, those suggestions have been met with healthy chortles and general disdain by some and cheers by others.

However, the Suns don't seem interested in making anymore big splashes right now. In fact, I hope they don't sign even one more player until a new GM is in place. The GM needs a chance to implement his plan, ESPECIALLY in the middle of a transition. Our new GM, whoever he/she is, will have a solid, deep roster of tradeable parts and a huge TPE (12.5 mil) to acquire that next superstar.

So, we've got a while to wait until something happens. Plenty of time to create wave after wave of panic posts and comments.

This post is meant to be a cathartic exercise, illustrating why the Suns don't need any more players than the ones on the current roster.

Here's my poorly-hatched plan:

Post a comment beginning with the name of the player you want the Suns to acquire and explain WHY they would be good for us.

And then (here's where the fun begins) EVERYONE ELSE has to post replies as to why we DON'T need that player. Of course, the trashing needs to be logical and backed by facts. And under no circumstances should you trash the person posting the comment. Only trash the player themselves.

Simple, right? And probably a really, really bad idea. But what the hell.

I'll post the first example, to show you what I'm thinking.



Even though he opted out of the final year of his contract to test the 2010 free agent market, it didn’t take long for recently re-signed Phoenix Suns big man Channing Frye to realize where he...

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LAS VEGAS — LA Times columnist T.J. Simers once told me he only writes about players who matter to a team, and maybe that’s one reason Simers isn’t at summer league. In all likelihood the only...

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First Amare leaves and now this 100-82 beating by the Rockets. Is this what we have to look forward to? OMG!!!!

Seriously, though, it was a pretty straight-on ass whooping thanks in large part to a Summer Suns roster that was over-matched by the raw talent of two Wildcats, Jordan Hill and Chase Budinger, along with Pat Patterson from Kentucky and last year's 32nd pick, guard Jermaine Taylor. Taylor led all scorers with 25 points and showed off his strong frame and quickness by getting to the rim and finishing with contract. He overpowered Matt Janning and finished with a team-high 7 rebounds as well. Nice player.

It was interesting watching Gani Lawal match up with Hill and Patterson, and by interesting I mean unfortunate.

Lawal spent most of his time battling with Jordan Hill's hair and came out on the losing side as those dreads had their way. Hill was simply stronger and quicker on both ends of the floor and pushed Gani around the paint. Lawal did have a couple of nice aggressive moves late in the game, but by that point Hill was on cruise control. Hill finished with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting.

"I feel I did pretty good," Lawal said after the game in which he went 4-for-8 (14 points) and grabbed 5 rebounds. "It was the first game. Still have to work out some kinks. Just getting used to everything. I've got to work on my free throws and little things of the game, but I feel pretty good for my first time out."

The most impressive Summer Sun was clearly point guard Zabian Dowell. He's got a great presence on the floor and a smooth mid-range game and nice touch with his floater. Dowdell was in Phoenix last year working out before training camp when he went down with a strained groin. That kept him off the court until December when he played 10 games for Tulsa in the D-league before signing with a team in Spain. 

If Zabian keeps playing like he did today, he has a good chance to find himself in Phoenix again this fall for camp. 16 points and 4 assists for him.

And then there was Earl...

Oh, Earl. You might think that his 4-for-14 performance was a result of the pressure he might be feeling coming into his second summer league with the expectation that he's going to contribute to the Suns this season.

"All I've got to do is play hard. Everybody knows my talent, knows I'm on the team. I'm just here trying to get better, but I've got nothing to prove," Clark said.

At least Earl understands what he's got to do better, "I think I did alright. I think I did some good things. I settled for a lot of jump shots today. I think I could have went to the basket more... tomorrow should be better."

Clark continues to struggle playing multiple positions. He says he still feels more comfortable playing the small forward, but is also playing a lot of power forward. He admits his post game is weak and defensively likes to match-up with small forwards. Learning plays for both positions is a goal of his here in Vegas, in addition to getting into basketball shape.

I would say that mental aspect of the game is still his biggest challenge. We'll see how he looks over the next few games, but so far, no bueno.

Taylor Griffin's biggest strength continues to be his effort. And strength. And hops. But as far as the ability to play the three at the NBA level... not so much. I will say he had a very impressive crossover move, so his handle might be better and he's let his hair grow out a bit which is having a kind of comb-over effect that's pretty decent.

Scottie Reynolds wasn't able to play due to an Achilles injury. It's uncertain whether he will play at all. Dwayne Collins continues to have the biggest hands I've ever seen, but he's not going to play here this week. He starts working out next week and hopes to come to Suns training camp ready to battle for a spot. It's a shame, it would have been fun to see Collins in this environment and certainly against bigger guys like Hill and Patterson who out-muscled Lawal.

 

Box Score

Audio:

Earl Clark 070910



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