Early Reviews in Vegas

Tuesday, July 13, 2010
By Jon Newberry

The Summer League version of the Hawks fought back from a 17-point deficit to tie the game twice in the final minutes before ultimately falling to the Memphis Grizzlies 89-85. The loss was encouraging, however, as the Grizzlies are fielding one of the more seasoned teams in the summer league, led by O.J. Mayo who has started all 164 games of his NBA career and averaged 17.5 points last season. (The Grizzlies had 244 career NBA starts among the players on their summer league roster compared to just 10 for the Hawks.)

Early on this game quickly reminded me what to expect from NBA Summer League. There are going to be a lot of turnovers, a lot of energy, and a lot of whistles. the quarters are only nine minutes long, but this game took a full two hours, even without media timeouts.

Many were hoping to get a glimpse at some new offensive schemes that are anticipated with Larry Drew taking over the coaching responsibilities, but keep in mind the fact that these guys have only had four practices (in three days) and this is Summer League. I will say that there were some solid possessions on offense that featured great ball movement, and a couple instances of effective two-man games. On the defensive end there seemed to be a lot of ball pressure, an area that new assistant coach Lester Conner is said to be focusing on.

Now let’s get down to what a lot of fans are interested in: Individual Reviews.

Jeff Teague– Teague played better than his box score indicates. He had a few great looks (especially early) where he teammates were unable to finish, otherwise he would have had closer to 7 or 8 assists. He shot well from the field and seemed confident and under control for a majority of the game, but he needs to cut back on careless turnovers.

Jordan Crawford– The kid can score. We knew that. Jordan also made some great passes and was active on defense, turning in a solid first game overall. He hit his first shot but then missed his next four during a spurt where he looked to be pressing. He settled down as the game wore on, and down the stretch he seemed to find his rhythm.

Alade Aminu– The surprise of the game, Aminu was the Hawks most efficient player. He ran the court exceptionally well, finished at the rim and was active on defense.

Pape Sy – He did some good things, but overall seemed to rush things on offense.

Sergiy Gladyr – Didn’t get a lot of minutes. Hit his first shot before committing a costly turnover late.

James Augustine– Likes to throw his big body around, reminiscent of Zaza.

Randolph Morris – Not a great start for Randy. A lot of fouls early and 0-for-4 from the field.

Richard Hendrix – Scored seven of his 11 points as the Hawks stormed back in the fourth quarter.

The Hawks now take today off before returning to action tomorrow night at 6:30pm ET to play San Antonio.