Ex-Cats notes: D-League was 'good experience,' but Goodwin glad it didn't last long

January 27, 2014 

Phoenix Suns rookie guard Archie Goodwin scored 59 points and played 88 minutes in two D-League games, but the former University of Kentucky standout told the Arizona Republic that he's glad his stint with the Bakersfield Jam didn't last long.

Goodwin averaged about 10 minutes per game with the Suns until Leandro Barbosa's mid-season arrival. Playing time had been limited since, so the team sent him to Bakersfield to log some minutes.

He scored 32 points and grabbed eight rebounds in his debut on Friday, then followed that up with 27 points on Saturday. He shot 42.5 percent overall, including going 5-for-12 from three-point range.

"It was a good experience to get some playing time," Goodwin told the newspaper. "It helped to work on some things I needed to work on but I'm glad to be back. I enjoyed my time but I want to be here for the remainder. I learn a lot from watching these guys play and competing and practicing with those guys."

One of Goodwin's goals for his D-League stint was to focus on his shot, particularly mid-range jumpers.

"I know I can shoot," Goodwin told the Arizona Republic. "The opportunity is less because we have so many good players here. I was able to shoot more there and get rhythm."

Coach Jeff Hornacek said Goodwin benefitted from the trip.

"It was good for him to play and get back his mojo and confidence," he said. "I don't think Archie is a guy who loses his confidence but it's good to get some reps."

■ Goodwin, back with the Suns, got his second straight "DNP-Coach's Decision" on Monday night. Phoenix won 124-113 at Philadelphia.

Centers losing out in All-Star voting

Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins and Minnesota's Nikola Pekovic have been two of the most unstoppable offensive forces in the Western Conference in the first half of this season. The burly centers play likely would have made them shoo-ins for the All-Star game in years past. Not this season. Both big men could have a hard time getting to New Orleans next month.

Last year the NBA stopped requiring fans, and coaches, to vote for a center. The change reflected the waning influence of big men on the game, and opened the door to better accommodate the influx of deserving forwards, especially in the West.

"That doesn't help the centers in the NBA when they went to a backcourt-frontcourt," Kings Coach Michael Malone said. "I think DeMarcus and the season he's having is definitely worthy of All-Star consideration. And you look at what Pekovic has been able to do, the guy is the second-best offensive rebounder in the NBA. He scores at a very efficient rate in the post."

■ Cousins sat out his third straight game with a sprained left ankle Monday night against the Utah Jazz.

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