clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Game Preview: Suns seeking first Summer League win against the Heat

To celebrate one of the hottest days of the year, we’re bringing you a Suns vs. Heat matchup in the middle of the day.

2023 NBA Las Vegas Summer League - Milwaukee Bucks v Phoenix Suns Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

What: Summer Suns (0-1) vs Summer Heat (1-0)

When: 3:30 p.m. AZ Time

Where: Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada

Watch: NBATV

The games might not count, but that doesn’t mean we’re not permitted to have some excitement. After watching the 52nd overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, Toumani Camara, go for 20 points and 8 rebounds in the Summer League opener, we’re itching to have a chance to see him again.

Camara may be a fringe player on the big league squad, but his maturity on the court, basketball IQ, and off ball movement made him look like a star in the Summer Suns’ first game. He slashed, rebounded, and played with a comfortability rarely seen by rookies in their first NBA action.

He got his highlights in.

Now the test is to see how replicable those efforts are. To see if opposing coaches took notice and gameplan against him. To see if Toumani can once again look like a men amongst teenage boys in Summer League.

Enter the Summer Heat. No, I’m not talking about the projected 110°+ temps in Phoenix today. I’m talking about the team that saw second-year center Orlando Robinson score 36 points and grab 11 rebounds in their 99-88 win over the Boston Celtics on Saturday.

Robinson joins a long lost of Miami players who went undrafted but have big league talent. The team signed him to a two year, $3.92 million deal, and he rewarded them with a Summer League game for the ages.

It will be quite the task to guard Robinson, and he most likely will me matched up with undrafted big Trey Jemison from UAB, who can play a little defense.

“He’s identifying how he’s going to be on the floor with the main team,” Heat assistant coach and Summer League head coach Caron Butler said of Robinson. “Bam is a roll guy, we need size and help with the rebounding and things like that. If Orlando can be a spacer, we explored that last year with Omer [Yurtseven]. He’s like, ‘Alright, that’s something that I probably can add to my game and help.’”

Also on the Heat roster is Nikola Jovic, not to be confused with two-time MVP and NBA Champion Nikola Jokic. Jovic, who was taken 27th overall in the 2022 NBA Draft, is a talented wing player who promises to play a part in Miami’s future.

In three Summer League games — one in Vegas and two in the California Classic — Jovic has averaged 19 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.3 assists. He’s done so shooting 47% from the field, 45.4% from deep, and 83.3% from the line. And he just turned 20 on June 9.

The Heat will also be showcasing their #18 overall pick out of UCLA, Jaime Jaquez, Jr. in the game as he attempts to make his mark on the league.

On the Suns’ side of the ball, we will see whether or not Jordon Goodwin gets any playing time. He departed from the first game of Summer League with left knee soreness, and in an interview with AZ Central beat writer Duane Rankin, stated, “I took a hit late in the second quarter, but I feel pretty good (Sunday).” He added, “Nothing too crazy. Just being cautious with it.”

“I’m not sure. I got to get with the training staff. They said the knee is sore, but it reacted well overnight. So we’ll see where he’s at,” Suns Summer league head coach Quinton Crawford observed.

Goodwin, who should factor into the Suns’ plans at the NBA level, was having a solid performance against the Bucks. He played 18 minutes and scored 12 points on 5-of-13 shooting, although he started 3-of-3. It was the way he was scoring that was impressive, welcoming contact as he attacked the interior. He added 4 assists and 3 rebounds before departing for the evening.

Again, the games don’t mean much on the surface. But they do to these players and therefore they are worth watching. Enjoy the early tip off!

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bright Side of the Sun Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Phoenix Suns news from Bright Side of the Sun