10-13-2009, 07:50 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Clark learning on the job
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. - During his 4-for-16 shooting Saturday night, Suns rookie forward Earl Clark heard from coach Alvin Gentry about how careless he was getting - with his wardrobe.
Gentry reminded Clark his untucked jersey would be a $5,000 league fine. Other than that, Clark's other misses were just part of letting the rookie grow.
"He didn't get mad about the way I played," Clark said.
Clark mostly stayed on the perimeter, making 3 of 12 shots there with a mid-range airball and a miss on a 3-pointer to tie in the final seconds, when the end of the Suns bench closed against Golden State regulars in a 104-101 loss at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. He scored on a drive but had two others blocked.
Heading into Monday's game at Oklahoma City, the upside is that Clark remains aggressive in taking shots after concerns that he might be passive.
"He's a confident guy," Gentry said. "He'll get better at those. He'll feel more comfortable."
Clark's immediate value is defense, where his versatility helps with center Robin Lopez out. Clark can be asked to guard center Andris Biedrins or swingman Corey Maggette.
"I played a full 12 minutes at the end," said Clark, who had 10 points, six rebounds and five fouls in 25 minutes. "It was a good learning experience. I did a lot of things good. I did a lot of things bad. I just want to take what things I did bad to the next game and see what I learned to do better."
The Curry talk
Saturday's participants held trade talks prior to the June draft that could have sent Amaré Stoudemire to Golden State for Biedrins, Brandan Wright, Marco Belinelli and the No. 7 pick. But once Stephen Curry unexpectedly became available at the pick, the deal was squashed by the Warriors.
Curry said he did not know of the talks then.
"I do now after talking to Coach Gentry," Curry said. "He told me they really wanted me to be in a Suns uniform and tried to work out a deal. That's how the draft works. It's unpredictable."
The Suns, eyeing Jordan Hill at No. 7, were elated when they thought Curry could be part of the deal.
Stoudemire worked hard to get in shape this summer after two eye surgeries but needs this preseason to find his old self. Gentry gave Stoudemire more time (29 minutes) Saturday to help get there.
"Amare's going to get better," Gentry said. "He's just not physically where he's going to be. I like the effort he's playing with. I think he's playing harder than he's played the last five years that I've been here. . . . He just can't quite complete certain plays."
Stoudemire made four jumpers and a follow to get 13 points and five rebounds. He has not been able to get to the rim off drives or rolls.
"I need to just get comfortable again," Stoudemire said. "I'm still not all the way there yet as far as my rhythm."