Goodwin symbolizes Suns’ future
by Paola Boivin, USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns fans have arrived at a reflective place. They can respect a rebuilding project as long as the blueprint looks sound.
Archie Goodwin is the symbol of a franchise that finally has some vision. He will flash jaw-dropping open-court skills one minute, an inconsistent shooting touch another. More than anything though, he holds the promise of greatness, an intriguing story line as the Suns play their second preseason game Wednesday night against the Portland Trail Blazers.
“Patience,” Goodwin said, “will help me in this league.”
You better believe it. Goodwin turned 19 less than two months ago. Nineteen. He is called “rook” by his teammates, sent out to make the occasional donut run. But the guard has earned their respect with a work ethic that often finds him on the court long after a practice, and with a game that turned heads during Summer League ball.
Restraint must accompany the seven-game Las Vegas run, but the 13.1 points per game average, the slipperiness around defenders and the fearless finishing skills point to a player with a great growth trajectory.
After watching Goodwin in the Suns’ preseason opening victory over Israeli League champion Maccabi Bazan Haifa Monday, coach Jeff Hornacek pointed out an instinctual knack to the player’s game, too.
“We called a couple plays out of timeouts (that) were really designated for another guy,” Hornacek said, “but they denied that guy and (Goodwin) just automatically interchanged and ran the play.
“As coaches, that’s just playing basketball. We can’t sit there and tell them every scenario that will happen out there. They’ve just got to make their own reads at times and he did a good job of that.”
It will take a strong and dedicated commitment by both player and staff to make Goodwin blossom into an elite NBA player. He is 6-5 with an impressive wingspan but needs to gets stronger to survive the grind of the league.
The biggest rap on him is his jump shot but he seems to be putting in the work to knock it down more consistently.
“It’s constantly trying to teach him what the good shot is, what the bad shot is,” … [For more on Rookie Archie Goodwin symbolizes Phoenix Suns' future, click here.]