Summer League Practice – Snyder Running the Show

Thursday, July 11, 2013
By Jaryd Wilson

Atlanta Hawks v San Antonio Spurs

The Hawks had a closed practice the evening of July 9 upon arriving in Las Vegas for the 2013 NBA Summer League.

We were able to sit in on the July 10 morning practice (they also practiced in the evening) and observed what appeared to be a pretty fluent and cohesive group considering they had played together for all of two hours the night before.

Quin Snyder, who was added to Mike Budenholzer’s staff a few weeks ago, ran the practice.  For those who don’t know him, he’s a brilliant basketball mind who has coached at the collegiate, professional and international level, so he has a lot of experience with a lot of different styles of basketball.

Offensively, Snyder focused, as expected, on fundamentals such as movement, spacing and screening.  They also worked on weak-side cuts to the basket.  When the ball stopped moving, Snyder let the guys know about it.  We’ll be tracking the flow of the offense as the week progresses.

Defensively, they again stuck with basic man-to-man principles.  There’s a focus on denying passes but also helping from the weak side.  Nothing we didn’t expect.

John Jenkins, Shelvin Mack and Mike Scott joined rookie Mike Muscala as notables at yesterday’s practice.  If you haven’t seen the Hawks’ Summer League roster yet, click here.

Jenkins looked very comfortable yesterday.  He appears to be very comfortable with the system that the Hawks are implementing, and when things did break down, he was able to create his own shot.  And yes, he made more than he missed.

Mack also looked comfortable.  He was very aggressive and read the man-to-man defense very well.  Newly-signed Dennis Schröder should join the team at practice today, and the two will likely rotate at the point guard spot throughout the week.

Scott didn’t play a whole lot during the scrimmage portion of practice yesterday, so the jury is still out on him.  However, I wouldn’t worry about him.  He’s a smart guy, a veteran on this roster and should have no trouble.  In the non-contact part of practice, he showed off a clearly improved mid-range shooting game several times.

I can tell just by watching Muscala that he’s a very smart player.  He took criticism well yesterday and did much better as the practice went on.  He also has a somewhat secret mid-range game that may not be so secret after Summer League.  His biggest adjustment will be playing at the NBA level.  This next week will be the best competition he’s faced hi whole life, so we’ll see how he adjusts.

One other guy to take note of is 7’3″ Serbian Boban Marjanovic.  His feet are a bit slow, but at 271 pounds, he’s the kind of big body Coach Bud and his staff will love to have this summer.  He rebounds well and can finish at the rim, and with Lucas Nogueira not yet cleared to participate, I expect he’ll see some solid minutes this week.  For those getting the idea, no, Marjanovic will not be on our roster this season.  He just signed a two-year deal overseas earlier this month.

You may also recognize John Millsap’s name.  Yes, he is the brother of newly-acquired Hawk Paul Millsap.

Coach Bud was at yesterday’s practice but facilitated from the sidelines.

Photo by D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images

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