Archie Goodwin went from frequent DNP-CDs to starting point guard for the Phoenix Suns in the span of a few days after Brandon Knight followed Eric Bledsoe and Ronnie Price to the injured list. He responded well in the first few games, but has had a couple of stinkers on the road this week.
Goodwin, still just 21 years old and the second youngest player on the Suns in his third NBA season, has been pining for court time for years. But he never expected his best chance as an NBA player would be rocked with so many lopsided losses.
The Suns lost again on Friday night, their 13th consecutive road loss, and again it was a double-digit loss rarely in the balance.
Archie is taking it hard.
These losses have no question been my fault. I have to and will be better— Archie Goodwin (@A1Laflare10) January 30, 2016
Goodwin started the game poorly, going 0-5 with three turnovers in the first 7 minutes against the Knicks. The Suns got down big during that run and the Suns never recovered.
But this isn't all Goodwin's fault, to be sure. No NBA team can blame it's losses on a 21-year old playing out of position because of roster-rocking injuries. Goodwin is not a pure playmaker, but he's taken the reins of the Suns because there's no better option.
He began this run well, with three consecutive 20+ points games as a starter and averaging 4 assists. He even hit a game winner to lead the Suns to only their second win of the month of January.
But the last two road games have been tough on Archie and the Suns, with blowout losses to the Cavaliers and Knicks. After each game, Archie took the blame on himself.
I like that Archie is taking ownership. He's never been about the paycheck and according to Suns folks he's one of the hardest workers on the team in trying to get stronger and improve his skills.
I just hope that by taking the losses on himself he doesn't regress, because confidence is one of the most important factors in becoming a good, consistent player.
Let's close on a good note, with something Archie does best. RIP Kristaps.