Gortat ready to take next step for Phoenix Suns

Dec 6, 2011, 5:52 PM | Updated: 6:07 pm

The Suns acquired Marcin Gortat in December of last year,
and at the time there were questions about what kind of
player the team added.

Gortat was 26 at the time, and had spent his entire career
backing up Dwight Howard in Orlando. At 6-foot-11 and 240
pounds, he had the size to be a quality NBA center.

But did he have the skill?


Gortat averaged 13 points and 9.3 rebounds a game for the
Suns, proving to be a good pick-and-roll partner for Steve
Nash and a rebounder unlike the Suns have had since the

The “Polish Hammer” finished the season strong and in the
starting lineup, averaging a double-double in the team’s
final 14 games, but he wants to get better.

That’s why Gortat trained with NBA great Hakeem Olajuwon
during the offseason.

“It was a great experience to work with the guy who has
the best post game of all time, it was a huge honor for
me,” Gortat said.

Gortat was joined by Suns teammate Garret Siler on the
trip, and said they both learned a lot.

“It was almost three hours every day for six days,” Gortat
said. “I believe my game improved, I improved my game.”

Gortat will look to prove he’s capable of carrying the
load, as he’s projected to enter the season as a starter
for the first time in his career.

That may be why, after all the time off, he’s excited to
get back on the court.

“I feel like I’m in great shape,” he said. “I’m ready to
start the season right now.”

Arizona Sports’ Craig Grialou contributed to this


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