Prepping for Vegas

Sunday, July 11, 2010
By Jon Newberry

The Hawks Summer League squad heads to Las Vegas this afternoon for a five-game schedule that begins Monday at 10:30pm ET. The team held its first practice session at Philips Arena on Friday night, met twice on Saturday, and will run one more time today before heading out west.

Here are some first impressions on the key figures to watch during the summer league:

Head Coach Larry Drew – Friday and Saturday’s practice sessions were our first look at Coach Drew on the court in a leading role. He exudes a positive energy that is refreshing and keeps things upbeat throughout the practice. Things are different when working with summer league players, but an early focus on the offensive end seems to be spacing and using/reading screens. Many believe that the best offenses aren’t the best because they follow set patterns, but because the players understand the concepts and can read and react to the defense and exploit the weaknesses.

Jeff Teague – “We’re just going to turn him loose.” Those were the words of Coach Drew when asked about their plans for Jeff Teague out in Vegas. So far in workouts Teague has been aggressive at taking the ball to the basket when there is an opening and looks to be poised to have a dominating series of games out west.

Jordan Crawford – The new “Rook” has shown some solid playmaking ability and passing skills early on, which should make him dangerous on offense when coupled with his ability to put the ball through the hoop.

Pape Sy – The French import continues to impress the Hawks coaching staff. He is long and tall and can definitely handle the ball, although his ability to defend may be he greatest asset. He has been matched up with Teague for a lot of the live action at practice.

Sergiy Gladyr – Last year’s second round pick is the youngest player on the summer league roster at just 20 years old. He has a smooth stroke from outside, and has shown decent quickness and athleticism.

Randolph Morris – Randy asked to be included on the summer league roster and has looked solid so far. As an unrestricted free agent he is looking to impress the Hawks or anyone else he can since he wasn’t able to earn substantial minutes last season.

James Augustine – One of the handful of players on the team that have substantial experience in the NBA, the big man should have a decent shot at at least earning an invite to the Hawks training camp if he performs well in Vegas. He has good size, good range and good touch around the rim.