Archives For John Jenkins

The Hawks opened the preseason on Monday night after a long month of off-court distractions from the front office. Taking on Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans, the Hawks controlled most of the game and won by a final score of 93-87.

Al Horford, DeMarre Carroll, Kyle Korver, Pero Antic, and Kent Bazemore sat out, but the Hawks coaching staff learned a lot about the depth they are going to have for the upcoming season.]

The most positive sign might have been from John Jenkins, who has finally overcome the injuries that plagued him for most of last season and during Las Vegas Summer League. Jenkins showed a wider range in his game and was doing more than just shooting; he was putting the ball on the floor, moving on offense, and playing with a lot of energy on defense. Continue Reading…

The Hawks’ run is over in Las Vegas as the team lost their quarterfinal matchup to Houston, 78-71. The biggest issue for Atlanta was their horrendous shooting, as the team only connected on three of their 28 3-point attempts. Otherwise, the team did a lot of things well; they got the line (18-for-26), controlled the ball (only 14 turnovers, which is excellent for Summer League), and a nice effort on the offensive glass. (11 offensive boards)

Here’s how things broke down for individual players:

  • Dennis Schröder was fantastic and his box score doesn’t quite reflect how well he played. “Slashing Schröder” had several nice takes to the basket and he was tied as the team’s leading scorer with 16 points on 5-for-11 shooting. He was only credited with four assists, but he should have had many, many more; the team’s 25-for-71 overall shooting tanked what was a great passing and offensive performance from the young German.
  • Mike Muscala was again the most consistent Atlanta player on the floor. He is not going to be the catch to run the highlight reel, but that is not what really matters; Muscala has shown a lot of growth this summer from last summer. He is more skilled off of the dribble, is more refined in the post, and has quite a keen knowledge of the NBA’s verticality rules. He doesn’t always get stops, but at the very least, he is avoiding fouls that most young players commit. He and Dennis also showed some nice chemistry on the floor.
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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.
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The NBA’s Summer League isn’t the best place to make concrete judgments about players, but it can still be an effective platform in finding new quirks in returning athletes’ games, or specific skills of newcomers that can help in the long run. Hawkshoop will be bringing you these observations throughout Atlanta’s journey through the Vegas Summer League, starting with their opener against the Washington Wizards.

  • Mike Muscala really surprised today with a dribble-drive game that we didn’t see nearly this often last year. Moose was attacking on nearly every touch, using the pump fake to his advantage and creating A LOT of open looks. He rarely, if ever, went up for a shot on these takes, but was connecting perfectly on his kick outs to open shooters. Doubt this can translate well, but it was very fun to see. On the defensive end, Muscala continued to put his I.Q. on display, rotating when needed and abusing the verticality rule. However, the opposition still had no trouble actually scoring on him. If this is an issue in Vegas, it’ll still be one in the NBA unfortunately. Unsure whether the problem is lack of intimidation or mass, but it needs to be remedied if Muscala wants to be an effective defender at the next level.
  • Adreian Payne came out firing, putting up any shot that looked appealing to him. No problem with this, since a player’s first Summer League game can come with jitters and shooting your way into a rhythm can help. His shots weren’t falling, but plenty were good looks off pick-and-pops that he will get at the next level. He also showed off his athleticism with a nasty put-back slam, and was able to make good things happen out of the post. Only the first game of Summer League, but Hawks fans have to like what they have in Payne if his shot can fall at an efficient rate.

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The Las Vegas version of the NBA’s Summer League will start tomorrow. For the second consecutive year, there is a lot to watch for with the young Atlanta Hawks roster.

While rookies Dennis Schröder and Lucas Nogueira stole the show last season, one of the biggest developments was Mike Scott’s expanded shooting.

Scott shot 46% over five games, displaying a refined shooting touch from mid-range, as well as an extension of his game to the 3-point line. Scott only shot 2-for-8 from 3 while in Vegas, but it was more about seeing where Scott wanted to go with improving his game. The improvement translated to the regular season, where Scott attempted 200 3-pointers during the season. Scott only shot 31% on those shots, but the expansion in his game added greater space on offense for himself and the entire team.

Will we see that kind of improvement from a player on this year’s Summer League roster?

Of the players in Vegas for the Hawks, three of them — Mike Muscala, John Jenkins, and Schröder — saw time during the regular season with the team. 2014 draft picks Adreian Payne, Edy Taveres, and Lamar Patterson will also see their first NBA related playing time. Eric Dawson, who played for last year’s Summer League team and was a training camp invite, is on the roster as well. Continue Reading…

Via today’s press release from the team:

“ATLANTA, GA —– Atlanta Hawks guard John Jenkins underwent successful lower back surgery this morning. The surgery was performed by Dr. Hal Silcox from the Peachtree Orthopaedic Clinic.

Jenkins will undergo a period of rest and recovery, followed by treatment and rehabilitation, and will miss the remainder of the season.

The second-year guard appeared in 13 contests this season, averaging 3.1 points and 1.7 rebounds in 12.2 minutes.

Back surgery is no joke, so hopefully John will be able to fully recover and be able to resume his career in a normal manner. In terms of the team, this isn’t the worst thing in the world, as Jenkins would still be buried in the rotation if he were healthy.

I predicted big things for Dennis Schröder at the start of the season. With the Hawks announcing that Schröder will be assigned to the NBA Development League, I’m sure a lot of people, including Schröder himself, must be disappointed. They shouldn’t be, because the D-League is exactly what Schröder needs to take the next step in his career.

I watched the D-League extensively last year due to my fascination with Royce White, so allow me to make a few observations. The D-League has a scarcity of size because most big men who can play at that level already have multiple contract offers overseas. Front court players toiling in the D-League are typically either draft picks on assignment or players who do not wish to play overseas.

As such, the fact that Mike Scott was sent down last season and lit the D-League up doesn’t prove much. There simply isn’t much NBA-caliber post defense to be found. What Schröder will encounter, however, are a bunch of undersized scoring guards (think Jared Cunningham) who are trying to prove themselves on every possession. This actually makes a D-League assignment highly beneficial for Schröder because all he needs is to tighten up his handle and stop committing so many turnovers.

Send John Jenkins down to the D-League and it won’t necessarily help because D-League teams aren’t any better at guarding the 3-point line than the Hawks are. But Schröder will face a number of lightning-quick guards, all of whom have something to prove against any player with an NBA contract. Scott wouldn’t benefit as much. He needs to keep getting lit up in 4th quarters by players like Boris Diaw until he figures NBA defense out.

2012-13 Record: 45-37 (7th in West)z-lakers

Playoff Result: Lost in First Round

Key Additions: Chris Kaman (free agent), Nick Young (free agent), Wes Johnson (free agent)

Key Losses: Dwight Howard (free agent), Metta World Peace (amnesty), Earl Clark (free agent)

Projected 2013-14 Record: 35-47 (11th in West)*

What to Expect: So much of LA’s season depends on when Kobe Bryant comes back from his Achilles injury and if he can still contribute at the highest level like we are so accustomed of seeing from him.

Just my thoughts on the matter: Kobe will be slowed a little bit, but he’ll still easily have the game to be a high-scoring player. His post game was as good as we’ve ever seen from a guard last year, and I expect him to be more reliant on that than ever. However, his ability to get to the basket will definitely be effected. I think he ends up with less free throws and buckets around the rim than in the past, but he’ll still have enough post and mid-range game to get his 20-plus points per game. Continue Reading…

Everything seemed to be going well in the first half. Not only did the Hawks have a 41-31 lead, but the rooks and second year guys were doing a lot of good things. Schröder was active in both shooting and passing, finishing the half with 11 points and four assists. John Jenkins, who was still acting as the number one option, actually started off strong with 10 points on 4-for-8 shooting.

Nogueira was in early foul trouble – the Summer League tournament games are reduced from 10 to six fouls – but the team of Mikes in Muscala and Scott did more than enough to pick up the slack; the two were playing well within the control of Schröder’s offense and were defending and rebound at a more than acceptable rate. Hell, even Jared Cunningham had a couple of beautiful dimes.

Then the shots decided to stop falling.

After a 15-for-31 performance from the field in the first half, the Hawks went 10-44 in the second half and overtime. Schröder was still running the offense well and getting open looks, but Jenkins and Scott couldn’t convert. Nogueira also had trouble finishing some looks around the rim, but his pick-and-roll defense and rim-protection (four blocks) were definitely the highlights.

Mike Scott finished with 19 points and nine rebounds. Muscala wound up with a team-high 12 boards, which means I get to post this.

mike-muscala2

The Hawks’ next game is on Friday at 6PM EDT against the Sacramento Kings.

The Hawks had the late night game on Sunday, playing the Miami Heat’s summer squad. There was a decent amount of excitement in the Cox Pavilion preparing to watch the rookie duo of Schröder and Nogueira again, and they weren’t disappointing.

In the first quarter the Hawks offense got off to a very slow starting, not scoring their first field goal until Sergiy Gladyr hit a three with 4:56 left. Up to that point, the team was getting solid play from the defense. Schröder was swarming, forcing the opposing point guards into coughing the ball up. The looks the team had been getting were open, but the scoreboard still said 9-1. The Gladyr three took the lid off the rim however, as it led to the Hawks scoring 11 points in the last 5 minutes to be down 16-12.
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