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Suns’ Landale is Kaminsky-eqsue, and that’s a good thing

Landale is playing his way into more minutes. And into our hearts.

Preseason- Adelaide 36ers v Phoenix Suns Photo by Kate Frese/NBAE via Getty Images

It’s only preseason. And there’s injuries. And you can’t make assumptions about what’s going to occur in the regular season based on performances that occur during this time period. But with a Phoenix Suns bench that is desolate for scoring, seeing as they lack anyone who can create their own shot or truly facilitate an offense, you have to look for the bright side. Pun intended.

Jock Landale is one person who is swiftly becoming recognized and respected for what he is doing during the preseason. Sure, Dave King called him the, “poor man’s Frank Kaminsky” and I respect Dave’s acumen for observing and reporting the talent on the basketball court that he sees. I don’t want him to be, but perhaps he’s right.

I think that Jock could be much more. At least I hope so. Even if being Frank Kaminsky is your floor, that fits perfectly into the system that Monty Williams has developed.

He’s highly aggressive on the boards – something that the Suns lacked throughout last season, especially in the playoffs – and has shown some range in the garbage minutes of a preseason game. His 13 points in 18.4 minutes through two games this season shows the promise that the Suns need.

Again, you can’t take too much from what is occurring in the preseason, but I’d rather see that type of performance than one that lacks passion, energy, or aggression. Was that a low-key dig at what we’ve seen from Deandre Ayton thus far? I’ll allow you to ponder.

Until we get Eric Gordon, the guard situation will continue to be a mess. You can’t tell me Cameron Payne, Landry Shamet, Josh Okogie, or Damion Lee are the answer. I just won’t accept it until I see it.

As there were more opportunities after Cameron Johnson’s injury against the Lakers, Jock exemplified what this second team will require from him in that capacity. From a big man perspective, an area where we’ve had troubles in the past (see 2021 NBA Finals), I’m excited for what Landale brings.

Yes, he can shoot the three like Frank, although he is shooting 25% in the preseason and shot 32.6% last season with the San Antonio Spurs. Appreciate that, but don’t expect it. Frank shot 34.4% from deep as a member of the Suns.

Yes, he can smash the boards like Frank; he averaged 3.85 offensive rebounds per-75 possessions last year, per B-Ball Index. Jock averaged 4.5 defensive rebounds per-75 possessions as well. Kaminsky averaged 2.12 and 5.8, respectively.

Okay. Dave was right. He’s a little smaller, talks with an Australian accent, but he is essentially another Kaminsky. That is not a bad thing. Frank had stellar performances for the Suns and, early last season, helped spell Deandre Ayton and did so effectively.

If the highlight of our off-season is signing a poor man’s Frank Kaminsky, maybe we’re in more trouble than I thought. But Landale is one of those players that you can feel yourself getting attached to, that you look forward to coming into the game, because – like a shot of whiskey– you start feeling things.

As the Suns try to figure out their bench situation, they’re going to need the stability and the overall junkyard-dog mentality that Jock Landale possesses. It will be interesting to see how much usage Jock gets. Frank averaged 17.6 minutes played through his 3 seasons with the Suns. Will Jock get more?

Phoenix has its challenges, but Jock isn’t one of them. Will continue to monitor how he performs in the preseason, and perhaps he carries over into the regular season.

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