11-07-2009, 03:21 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Suns not rushing Clarke and more
BOSTON - Suns rookie Earl Clark is on his first real NBA road trip and is enjoying a run of five stops in seven days more than his teammates.
He loves the hotel room
service. He got a rush out of facing Orlando's Dwight Howard. He is thankful for the team support he gets.
As for how he fits into the daily Suns mix . . .
"I'm just clueless," Clark said "I just try to be ready when Coach (Alvin Gentry) calls me because I never know if I'm going to play five minutes or 20 minutes. I always stay focused on the game to see what's going on. I try not to watch it as a fan but as a player, like seeing what a guy likes to do and moves he's making so I can defend him well if I get in."
True to the summer plan, the Suns are not rushing Clark. He has played important minutes some nights and mop-up ones on others. On Friday, it was the former. He entered in the first quarter and spent time guarding Rasheed Wallace, the type of shooting big man they drafted Clark to cover.
"We keep trying to stick him in there," Gentry said. "We don't put any extra pressure. We're pretty good at his spots. He's a rookie. It's going to be a roller coaster for him but we think eventually he's going to be a really solid player who can do a lot of things for us. Defensively and rebounding, he's pretty good already."
The Suns are deciding if Clark is a small forward or a power forward, although Gentry would like to see him be a power forward because of the advantage his speed and ball-handling would give him there.
"I can play both positions," Clark said. "I don't play a lot of three because I'm not a consistent 3-point shooter. I'm not really comfortable at shooting from there. As the years go on and I become a better shooter, I think I'll play the three and four."
Barbosa out 3rd game
Guard Leandro Barbosa will practice Saturday and probably play Sunday at Washington, Gentry said.
Barbosa missed a third consecutive game Friday at Boston due to soreness in his right wrist.
"It's way better but it's still bothering me," Barbosa said. "I know they want me to play. I want to play. I want to make sure when I'm back, I'm back for the rest of the season."
After the Suns shootaround and the bus' departure, center Robin Lopez stayed at the arena for a 30-minute workout with assistant coaches Dan Majerle and Igor Kokoskov and strength and conditioning coach Mike Elliott.
Lopez's court activity increased, adding post moves and running the floor. Lopez will have an X-ray on his left foot, which he fractured Oct. 3, on Wednesday to determine if he can start practicing.
"I still feel I have a long way to go," Lopez said. "I don't like the separation I feel I have from the team. Being injured, I do different workouts. I don't like it, especially because I was getting so comfortable over the summer."
Suns great and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is engaged to District of Columbia Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, the Washington Post reported.