The Hawks dropped to 0-3 in Summer League play with a 91-76 loss to the Trail Blazers, mostly thanks to the hot shooting of Portland’s CJ McCollum and Will Barton. Of course, we’re not interested in what happened on the Portland side. Here’s what I saw from the Hawks’ best prospects:
- Dennis Schröder again looked confident in trying to score, even if he did not have quite the success of Sunday’s 30 point game. He did not attempt a 3-pointer, but his takes to the basket were decisive and well-finished. I liked most of his passing, but he did end up with six turnovers thanks to some old-fashioned, Summer League sloppiness. However, he did have this nice alley-oop pass to Mike Muscala in the second half.
- John Jenkins did not play in the second half in what was likely after-effects of his back-injury from the past year. Jenkins only played eight minutes in the first half, scoring no points and accumulating three fouls. Jenkins’ future status with the team is becoming less and less concrete as time passes. It may seems harsh since he is coming off of a back injury, but I see no reason why the team should pick up his option for next season.
- Mike Muscala was probably the team’s best player in this game, putting up 13 points and seven rebounds in 25 minutes. Despite the team having trouble on defense as a unit, I liked what Muscala was doing for most the game; he still has some learning to do, but he length helps a lot when he just tries to get vertical in defending shots. Muscala was also 1-for-2 on 3-point attempts and he has commented that he is making a concerted effort to improve that aspect of his game. Being a big that can shoot 3s is an easy way to get playing time in Mike Budenholzer’s offense.
- Speaking of 3-point shooting bigs, Adreian Payne did have some struggles today against the Blazers. Like Muscala, he had 13 points and seven rebounds, but Payne looked overwhelmed at times and turned the ball over constantly when the defense pressured him. (Payne finished with seven turnovers) For positive things, Payne did go 2-for-5 on 3s and I’m a big fan of his shooting stroke. He also had a nice dribble drive off a pump-fake in the third quarter that somewhat reminded me of Pero Antic. Considering Payne and Antic is a possible frontcourt combo that we could see a lot of in the upcoming season, it’s fun to think of all of the constant pump-faking that could come from the second unit.
- Of the non-major names at Summer League for the Hawks, Stephen Holt and Lamar Patterson continue to impress me. Holt’s overall line was nice with 10 points (3-for-6 shooting), two assists, and two steals off of the bench. His shooting touch gives him a real shot to land somewhere in the league, even if it’s not with the Hawks.
- Edy Tavares is still big, just in case you forgot. The 7′-3″ center had seven points and four rebounds is 23 minutes.
- Travis Wear was released from the Summer League roster before this game. Wear only played five minutes total in the previous two games, scoring three points on three shots.
- Today wasn’t the best example of Budenholzer’s ball movement, as the squad had only 10 assists against 21 turnovers. For a more positive team statistic, the Hawks were 18-22 (82%) from the free throw line.
- Speaking of Budenholzer, he got a chance to sit down with commentators Grant Hill and Matt Devlin to discuss a myriad of things, including last season’s injury problems and why he doesn’t want to be pigeonholed as just a 3-point shooting team.
The Hawks’ next game is TBA as their next game will be a part of Summer League’s tournament. Hopefully they don’t draw Portland again. (unless you are a fan of dunks, then you might like to see Portland again)\