USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix's starting center has been in a slump since Utah knocked the Suns out of the playoffs, but Friday night's game might be a sign that he's moving on.
The Phoenix Suns picked up a big win over the Utah Jazz, and over at SB Nation's Suns blog Bright Side of the Sun the reaction is all about Marcin Gortat. Gortat's history against the Suns is ugly, with his 1-for-8 performance in April of 2012 getting the Suns knocked out of the playoffs. After last night's performance that monkey is off his back, Dave King writes:
In the 17 games since that Utah loss, Gortat's averages dropped by 3 across the board even when factoring in equal minutes - points, rebounds and blocks all dropped precipitously. In those 17 games, Gortat pulled down 10+ rebounds only twice. This after pulling down 10+ in five of six games to open the season and averaging 10 per game last year.
It seemed like the Marcin Gortat we all knew and loved had died. His body was still here, but his spirit was gone.
That changed on Friday night. Gortat missed five of his first six shots, but he stayed focused and finished with his seventh double-double of the year. He shot 5-of-12 from the floor and 2-of-2 from the line for 12 points, and grabbed 14 boards. In addition, he had three assists and two blocks.
Gortat's numbers are still down from where they were in the lockout-shortened 2011-2012 season, and it goes without saying that the sooner Gortat returns to form, the better it is for the team. The full post includes more on Gortat and the team's fortunes, so don't miss it.