The Phoenix Suns wrapped up their five-game summer league schedule tonight with a solid win over the Memphis Grizzlies 96 – 87. The Suns struggled for the most part throughout the five games, especially dropping three in a row after their win in the opener over the New York Knicks.
The two best players on the Suns summer league roster, rookie Kendall Marshall and second-year player Markieff Morris both played their best game tonight in the win over Memphis. Kendall Marshall much like Steve Nash dominated the entire game with his passing, court vision and most importantly running the offense.
Kendall Marshall scored 15 points on 6-10 shooting, made 3 3-pointers, grabbed 4 rebounds and also had 10 assists with only three turnovers. His counterpart Markieff Morris had his best game by far, scoring 25 points and grabbing 11 rebounds and also had 3 assists but most importantly for the first time during the five games Morris shot better than 50%(10-17) from the field.
This is a great sign for the Phoenix Suns as they move forward with these two rebuilding pieces; Kendall Marshall showed his ability to play the point guard position in the NBA and Morris showed that he can be efficient with a good point guard on the floor after a very disappointing loss yesterday to the D league select team.
During a solid close out win over Memphis the Suns did a great holding the leading scorer of the summer league, Josh Selby to only 23 points; yes only 23 points as Josh Selby torched the summer league averaging 29 points a game coming into tonight’s contest.
There were so many more positives for the Suns’ tonight other than the performances of Marshall and Morris. There were several players who stood out to me, Charles Garcia who dove to the floor at least three times going for loose balls and trying to keep the possession alive, Marcus Landry who continued his stellar shooting and also his whole “playing within himself play style” Scored 15 points on 5-10 shooting including 2 3 pointers. Landry also did a great job on the defensive and holding Tony Wroten to 19 points on 8-18 shooting. Another player who impressed me what’s up P.J Tucker who had 10 points, 9 rebounds, on 5-8 shooting as he also picked up a block and a steal.
The Suns displayed some toughness tonight that was missing throughout the first four games. It will be interesting to see which of those three players will get invitations to training camp but if you ask me I believe that Charles Garcia and Marcus Landry will both get an invite to training camp.
Both players were good throughout the entire summer league however they both displayed two very different but effective play styles in the NBA. Charles Garcia of reminds me of this player named Jared Dudley, you might’ve heard of him?(Sarcasm) Garcia hustles, he plays good defense and he is just a bulldog overall; he’s capable of handling the basketball. Garcia was supposedly promised by seven teams in the 2010 draft that if he were available in the late first round they’d take him but that did not happen as the second round came and went still his name wasn’t called. The effort, hustle, and energy plays that he displayed with the Suns throughout the five games, I believe that he absolutely deserves a spot in training camp.
As for Marcus Landry I feel that he deserves a spot at training camp because of his ability to play within himself, he doesn’t try to do too much so he doesn’t turn the ball over and also he’s a very solid shooter from the outside; much like his brother Carl Landry, he’s a banger who will hustle and played very solid defense.
We still have a couple months until training camp so we’ll see what happens, however I do consider this a successful summer league for the Suns. Kendall Marshall finally showed us the poise, and ability to run a team like he did for two years at North Carolina. Markieff Morris showed that he’s capable of being an solid rebounder, scorer, and overall good player. Both guys will give Goran Dragic and Luis Scola a run for their spot in the starting line-up. Marshall probably still has another year or two before he’s ready to start, but Morris has a good shot to be a starter this year because of his shooting touch, defensive abilities, and just being a tough player on the inside on both ends of the court.