Final Thoughts on Vegas

Monday, July 19, 2010
By Jon Newberry

The Hawks Summer League squad bounced back from two tough losses to win their final three games in Las Vegas. As predicted, or at least hoped, Jeff Teague and Jordan Crawford stood out as the most talented players on the team, although each of them had their fair share of hiccups along the way.

Teague looked awful in Atlanta’s loss to San Antonio in Game 2. He had seven turnovers in the first half, including getting ripped in the back court leading to an uncontested layup for the Spurs. He summed it up well with a Tweet the next morning: “my bad yesterday didn’t have a good one”. The good news is that Jeff seemed to re-commit to taking better care of the ball, turning it over just four times in the next two games.

Mr. Nickels (we’ll try that one for Jordan during this post) had a good Summer League. I don’t want to say “great” because some of the areas where he still needs some seasoning were exposed (he had nine turnovers in yesterday’s game). But Summer League is the perfect place to not only work on your weaknesses, but to also to learn about where you need to focus your efforts when you get back to the practice court or weight room.

We all knew that Jordan could score, but in my opinion he was even better than advertised as a scorer. Similar to Jamal, he regularly hits tough shots while making them look easy. We will have to see if it carries over into training camp/pre-season, but Mr. Nickels was able to get to the line on a regular basis this past week. Summer League has a ton of fouls (three different players fouled out with 10 in one game out in Vegas) but one slight against Joe and Jamal as scorers is that they don’t get to the free throw line enough for easy points.

The most disappointing part of Summer League for me was that Pape Sy was limited due to a strained Achilles. He played the first game and made a cameo against the D-League Select, but he never got the chance to get in the flow and have a big impact.

Sergiy Gladyr had his best game of the summer yesterday, hitting 2-0f-3 shots, picking some one’s pocket and dishing out an assist in eight minutes of action. This kid (he is the only one on the team that is still too young to purchase alcohol in the States) showed again that he has a lot of potential, but he still needs some work before he is ready for meaningful minutes in The League.

James Augustine may have made the biggest impression on me outside of the guys we have previously drafted. He gives you what you look for in a big man role player. He hustles, works hard, fouls hard and hits the glass. He doesn’t score a lot (he had more rebounds than points) but there are a lot of first string big men in the NBA that don’t score a lot, much less third string.

There were other players that had good showings in Vegas (Aminu, Hendrix, Gilder) and players that had their ups and downs (Morris) but it is hard to see any of them battling for meaningful minutes for the Hawks this season. But that is just one man’s perspective. What did you think? Let the conversation begin…