Hawks Summer League Watch — vs. Wizards

Graham Chapple —  July 11, 2016
Feature Image: Patrick Smith/Getty Images North America

Game 2 of Atlanta’s Las Vegas Summer League adventures saw the Hawks prevail over the Washington Wizards (88-80) behind a three-point clinic from the Hawks. Bryce Cotton led the way with 21 points.

The Hawks now improve to 2-0 in Las Vegas while the Wizards fall to 1-1.

Again, I’m not going to run over everything from this game. This is more so an opportunity to look at the rookies (Bembry and Prince [once he’s cleared to play]) and the other Hawks under contract (Tavares and Patterson), since it’s pretty unlikely that any of these other guys on the Hawks’ summer league roster are going to make the roster come October. With the breaking news that Jarrett Jack is signing with the Hawks on a one year deal, the Hawks’ roster count stands 16, meaning that they’ll have to cut someone from their existing squad as it is, let alone consider adding another player.

And that’s not to say that these guys couldn’t make it on another team’s roster — I imagine Bryce Cotton and Kevin Pangos will be snapped up somewhere — but it’s just unlikely that that roster will be Atlanta’s roster.

Lamar Patterson’s facilitation on show again

It was another good night for Lamar Patterson last night, who again showed his qualities as a facilitator. He finished with six assists, and every time I watch him play like this I’m more and more convinced he should be given some minutes (at least to begin the season) as a combo guard, who plays both off the ball and on it, but with Jarrett Jack now entering the fray that may not materialise.

Here were some of Patterson’s best assists from last night.

That last assist to Ashley where LP pinged it back into him, following the Bembry miss, was a great play. Patterson could’ve taken easily have taken that wide open three (especially since he was knocking that shot down last night), but he gave up his good shot for an even better shot right underneath the basket. A lot of players would’ve just jacked it up in that situation, but not Patterson. Great play.

LP also had a better night shooting the ball too — 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting and 4-of-7 from behind the arc, including this big shot that put the Hawks up by six points in the closing stages of this game.

If LP can shoot that three ball with some consistency I can’t see why he wouldn’t see some game time in October, because we can clearly see he’s more than just a shooter. When Coach Bud joined Kevin Calabro and Steve Smith on the broadcast, he was talking about some of the Hawks’ rookies and he said this about Patterson: “Lamar really sees the court, sees the game”. A simple assessment, but a true assessment — you can tell he just sees the game.

We can go through what Jarrett Jack’s arrival in Atlanta means for Patterson another time, but I just hope it doesn’t result in LP being cut. He has really impressed me thus far at summer league.

Are you excited about DeAndre’ Bembry yet?

If you’re not, you should be.

He didn’t score or get to the line like he did against the Rockets, but still put up seven points, seven assists, six rebounds, and a steal — stuffing that stat sheet.

Every time I watch him play I’m more and more convinced he’s going to blossom into a very good player in Bud’s system. He’s always moving, and that’s going to open up things for him and his team.

Take this play for example. He brings the ball up the floor scanning around to see what he can conjure, gives the ball up to Tavares, moves without the ball, and a miscommunication on a switch (caused by his movement) allows him a wide open path to the rim.

He also directs traffic. You can see him motion to his teammate to move, and that created the switch that led to a miscommunication, which allows Bembry this open dunk. Miscommunication, yes, but he’s always moving and when you’re always moving you’re making things happen, not just for yourself but for others.

But Bembry’s can also make things happen for himself when he’s in possession of the ball. Check this play out, this really showed me something about him.

Look how he attacks the rim dribbling with his weaker hand, that’s very encouraging to see. First off, the ability to dribble with his off hand and, secondly, the confidence he has to do so. Although he didn’t complete the play at the rim on this occasion, this kind of versatility — to be able to make plays with both hands — will serve him well wherever he goes, whether he plays in Bud’s system or not.

But he is in Bud’s system, and in Bud’s system you have to be able to make a play, to be able pass the ball. Bembry registered seven assists yesterday, including these two beauties that we’re going to dissect a little bit.

Much like Patterson, when Bembry collects a rebound he can just go — if there’s nothing on for him, he can create for a teammate. On this possession, once he collects the rebound he’s off. He displays some great dribbling — dribbling through traffic — gets his head up and finds a wide open Cotton who makes it splash.

Look at the ability to dribble through traffic and then the awareness to get his head up to identify the next move, and then the ability to find the open shooter. That’s fantastic from Bembry.

And just to round it all off, a play that features both Patterson and Bembry.

Bembry receives the ball from Pangos and drives towards the rim. He collapses the defense, drawing at least three defenders, and then swings the ball over to the wide open Patterson who connects from behind the arc.

Good awareness shown by Bembry — who was about to steamroll into a whole bunch of traffic — to give up his shot to find the better shot in the form of Patterson.

Bembry’s really going to be something to watch, whether he plays with the Hawks or whether he spends some time in the D-League, he’s going to be a treat.

How about Edy?

Edy had a better game yesterday, scoring 10 points, collecting five rebounds, and spiking four shots.

(You can also see some other nice plays from Bembry in this montage too)

Edy had a better game as a rim protector but I still wasn’t overly impressed with him, more specifically, I wasn’t impressed with his screen setting. When he sets a screen (to me) he doesn’t really put a body in between himself and his ball handler. Obviously he can set screens, but I’d just like to see him to be a little more aggressive when he does and really press his body into his man.

I think this is a really important aspect of his game that he needs to work on, since he doesn’t really have an offensive game to him (at least right now) and as such can’t really help his team on the offensive end, other than when lobs are thrown to him. But if he can set a mean screen, that’ll certainly open up things for his teammates.

I have to be honest, I expected to see an awful lot more out of Tavares at summer league than I did out of Patterson, and I’m a little disappointed by that. There’s still time though, the Hawks will play the Brooklyn Nets later today.

Graham Chapple

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