Rookies Shine In First Summer League Game

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The Hawks dropped their first game at Las Vegas Summer League to the Wizards by an 90-74 margin. Adreian Payne led Atlanta with 12 points on 5-of-13 shooting along with six boards, while Mike Muscala added 11 points and five rebounds. Otto Porter led all scorers with 25 points and Glen Rice, Jr. had 22 points for the Wizards.

Game Notables:

- Payne’s activity. After the game Coach Ham highlighted the activity shown by Payne on both ends of the floor, and said that despite the high foul number he was encouraged because it would be easier to slow him down then try to get him to play with more pace.

- Payne said that he’s still not comfortable with the offense, and is trying to get a feel for where his shots will come from.

- Muscala was very active, and looked great putting the ball on the floor. Mike had a number of drive-and-kick plays and made excellent passes off the dribble. Ham noted that Muscala has developed that ability to put the ball on the floor and it’s something they think can be a weapon for them.

- Ham said the biggest improvement he wanted to see was for them to move the ball more. The Hawks finished the game with only eight assists -- one in the second half. Atlanta's identity on offense is all about ball movement, so that’s an improvement Ham will still emphasize.

- John Jenkins made his debut in game-action since his back surgery after being cleared last week. Jenkins was not pleased with his performance and said he physically wasn’t 100 percent. He said his focus is on being a leader on the floor even when he’s not playing well, and also rounding himself back into basketball shape and rhythm.

- Dennis Schröder struggled to finish at the rim and shot just 2-for-13 from the field, but played with a better pace than he showed at the beginning of last season. He was changing speeds and getting himself to the rim, but didn’t score well once he got there.

- Stephen Holt and Lamar Patterson each had solid showings in their debuts. Holt was a perfect 3-for-3 from the field with eight points and Patterson was active on both ends of the floor, finishing with 10 points and three steals.

- “[Edy Tavares]’s big.” Coach Ham’s opening statement about Edy was spot on. The 7-foot-3 Tavares made his presence felt with his length around the rim. Tavares had six points on 3-of-4 shooting in 11 minutes of play. He had four fouls in those 11 minutes, and Ham said they were working on getting him to play with more verticality rather than making an “umbrella” with his arms where opposing players could draw fouls. 

Story by Robby Kalland

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