Our good friends at Dictionary.com describe “august” as “inspiring reverence or admiration; venerable; eminent.”
That being said, there’s nothing august about August when it comes to basketball.
August, especially the beginning of the month, is boring. It’s the yearly equivalent to a South American siesta. Nobody’s home.
Rookies Alex Len and Archie Goodwin are wrapping up NBA orientation week. Goran Dragic and Marcin Gortat have national team obligations. Other guys are working out and/or playing away from 201 E. Jefferson during the dead window between NBA Summer League and team workouts.
In short, it’s a huge hoops voide that feels longer due to 1) the eagerly anticipated offseason changes that took place off the court and 2) the results of those changes that can only be measured on it.
The moratorium will end. Players, starting with Len and Goodwin, will start trickling into US Airways Center for informal workouts. We’ll start getting an idea behind the intrigue of everyone new to Planet Orange.
Among the many pending storylines, here’s a few this committee of one is sick of waiting to see:
1) Position competition. Jeff Hornacek has repeatedly stated that training camp and rotation decisions will be an anyone-goes affair. Young guys drool over that kind of opportunity, and the Suns are mostly a young team. How intense will practices get? Will Hornacek actually have to calm things down at one point? And will he be able to keep from smiling while he’s doing it? Either way, it’s hard not to look forward to each starter truly earning his spot before all is said and done.
2) Bledsoe unleashed. “Potential” and Bledsoe have been mentioned in the same breath for young guard’s entire career. With more opportunities than ever now available, how exactly will that talent unfold? High scoring? Better playmaking than anyone knew about? Unprecedented defensive numbers from the guard position? Nobody knows (yet), but finding out can’t come soon enough.
3) Rookie impact. Alex Len (20) and Archie Goodwin (almost 19) are the youngest of the young. That being said, Hornacek has indicated that both will figure into the team’s game-to-game picture this season. Workouts and practices are where impressions are made, impressions that solidify or alter the coaching staff’s plans. Will Goodwin continue to impress against better competition? Will Len show off the skill set that had Phoenix high on him in the first place? If the answer to either is “yes”, then it will only strengthen Suns GM Ryan McDonough’s offseason momentum in the public eye.
4) The over-under on practice dunks. My man Greg Esposito already pointed out this year’s Suns roster has unlimited “anarchy” potential. Between Gerald Green, Shannon Brown, Eric Bledsoe and Archie Goodwin, midair collisions might be a real concern if Goran Dragic ever has two or more of that quartet on his squad.