What Phoenix Suns' Success in 2013 Vegas Summer League Really Means

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What Phoenix Suns' Success in 2013 Vegas Summer League Really Means
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp
The Phoenix Suns came just one win short of bringing home the Vegas Summer League title.

Phoenix Suns fans should be optimistic about their team's 2013 Vegas Summer League performance because it looks like the rebuilding process is coming along.

The biggest surprise from Vegas was the emergence of Archie Goodwin.

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Goodwin is a project, but if the Suns can harness his potential the sky's the limit.

The Suns took Goodwin with the No. 29 pick in the NBA Draft this offseason, and while many knew Goodwin could score, there was much talk about how raw a player he was. What fans saw in Vegas confirmed some doubts, but also ignited their hope.

Yes, Goodwin is a raw player, but he has all the skills and tools to be special.

Kris Habbas of SB Nation says Goodwin has shown the ability to make plays on his own that could swing momentum in any game:

A prime example of that came in the Summer League when Goodwin perfectly executed an in-bounds play curling from one side of the paint to the other, catching a lob pass, and finished through traffic. As Goodwin goes through the motions of learning how to make the simple plays the fact that he is capable of making the spectacular plays further more emphasize the potential he has.

Another Sun who played well was P.J. Tucker.

Tucker had a solid stat line and, as Jacob Padilla of SB Nation writes, continued to do what was necessary to help the team:

P.J. Tucker was a beast. He was one of the more experienced players in Vegas and he played like it. He took over when the Suns were struggling and willed the team to victory. He scored efficiently inside and rebounded at a high rate.

As a team, the Suns were one of the most prolific offenses in Vegas.

This is something Suns fans should be very excited about. The run-and-gun days of Steve Nash seem like a distant memory, only to have been replaced with sluggish, disorganized offensive basketball.

Based on Phoenix's performance in Vegas, though, the Suns might be picking up some offensive speed.

Yahoo! Sports contributor Michael Dunlap says the run-and-gun days are back:

New head coach Jeff Hornacek has said from the start that the Suns are going to push the ball. These might not be your seven-seconds-or-less Suns, but this year's version will score. The Suns averaged 93.2 points per game during the summer session, only dipping below 80 points once (77 in the championship game). When the regular season comes around and Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic are out there, it's going to be full throttle. 

The biggest takeaway from Las Vegas for Suns fans should be that the Suns won.

Sure, they didn't bring back the Summer League Championship, but they did bring back a 6-1 record. For the first time in the past couple years the Suns looked like a team that cared about winning, not just surviving through a game.

That should be a breath of fresh air in Phoenix.

Ben York of Suns.com says even though the Suns didn't bring home a championship, this new outlook should define their success from their time in Vegas:

For the 2013 Summer Suns, the past two weeks in Las Vegas set an indelible tone not just for the forthcoming NBA season, but for the new regime of Head Coach Jeff Hornacek and GM Ryan McDonough. The theme? Heart and hustle.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Last year the Suns seemed like a team that just wanted to get through the season. Now there is a new sense of heart and determination.

What the Suns' success in Vegas really means is that for the first time in a couple years it seems like the train is back on the tracks and is rolling in the right direction.

It appears like the front office has made some smart personnel moves and that the hiring of Jeff Hornacek was a good one. Depending on how Alex Len turns out, it also looks like the Suns had a quality draft this year too. That is something fans haven't been able to say for a while.

All in all, the Suns' Summer League success should spark hope in their fanbase because the team is starting to finally come together.

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