Pair of former Pacers shine in Suns scrimmage
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Luis Scola did not fit the Suns’ plans for this season, so the they traded the veteran forward for a pair of players who did: Gerald Green and Miles Plumlee.
The two ex-Indiana Pacers proved their worth Saturday, combining for 37 points in the Suns’ intrasquad scrimmage ending a week-long training camp at Northern Arizona University.
Green, in a position battle with Marcus Morris and PJ Tucker at small forward, hit 6-of-9 threes. He shot 7-of-12 overall, scoring a game-high 20 points.
“I knew coming here he would fit in really well with his style of play,” Plumlee said of Green.
The 6-foot-11 Plumlee showed he’s a decent fit as well with 17 points and nine rebounds in 25 minutes. He scored 13 points in 55 minutes all of last season in Indiana.
“I’ve been looking forward to (playing in Phoenix) ever since I found out I was getting traded because I knew this was a great opportunity,” he said. “I’ll just keep working and I’m going to be ready this year.”
Plumlee wowed the crowd of more than 4,000 inside Walkup Skydome with several dunks, including two off assists from Kendall Marshall.
“I played with him over the summers and stuff,” Plumlee said. “I’ve always really liked the way he plays, and I think he likes the way I play. We just look for each other. We have a little bit of a connection even though people wouldn’t expect that” referring to their college choices.
Plumlee is a year removed from a four-year playing career at Duke. Marshall attended rival North Carolina.
Head coach Jeff Hornacek, who orchestrated perhaps the first-ever nine-player in-game trade at the start of the fourth quarter of Team Black’s 74-71 victory over Team White, liked what he saw from his backup big man.
“When Ryan (McDonough) got him in the trade that was our thought of, if we’re in an open court game, pick-and-roll where he’s diving to the basket, his athleticism, it could be really helpful for us,” he said. “(Plumlee is) a guy with that energy that cuts to the basket that he brings guys with him that if he’s not open, he’s going to open up somebody else.”
Eric Bledsoe and Marcus Morris each scored 13 points. Bledsoe filled the stat sheet with seven rebounds, seven assists, three steals and one block. He also had five turnovers in 24 minutes, the last five spent on the court with Goran Dragic.
Channing Frye scored 11 points on 4-of-10 shooting, including 2-of-7 from three-point range. Marcin Gortat added 10 points, seven rebounds and six turnovers.
Frye, who only two days earlier began playing full court, was expected to be limited, yet logged 24 minutes.
“And all of a sudden I’m looking up and I’m going, ‘You still in the game?’ He goes, ‘I’m good. I’m good.’ It was great to see that he put the extended minutes in in the game,” Hornacek said.
“I thought it was great. I thought the guys tried to execute the offense. They pushed it; want to push it maybe a little bit more. But I think for the most part, they played well together.”
The game though was not without incident.
Plumlee, as he spoke with reporters, sported scratch marks on his left shoulder. “Somebody needs to cut their nails out there I think,” he said smiling.
The Suns open a seven-game preseason schedule Monday with a meeting against Maccabi Haifa at US Airways Center.