Apr 27, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Indiana Pacers power forward Jeff Pendergraph (29) has his shot blocked by Atlanta Hawks power forward Mike Scott (32) during the second half of game three of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at Philips Arena. The Hawks defeated the Pacers 90-69. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
In the finale of a 5-game Summer League slate in Las Vegas, the Atlanta Hawks were defeated by the Sacramento Kings by a final score of 93-87.
The Hawks were led by yet another impressive performance from Mike Scott, who scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Scott finished the week with a 17.0 points per game average, but he came in a big way in the past few games, and his performance (especially on offense) was highly encouraging.
Injuries were the other major takeaway from the night for Atlanta, and unfortunately, the nights of both Mike Muscala and Lucas Nogueira were over in a hurry. Muscala left the game with a calf strain, and Nogueira exited (after a crazy 5-block performance in just 12 minutes) as a result of routine hamstring tightness. The NBA-TV broadcast indicated that Nogueira would have played “if it was a playoff game”, but I’m happy to see the team take caution with that type of asset.
The backcourt duo of John Jenkins and Shelvin Mack also contributed in a big way. Jenkins was the “go-to” player offensively for the entirety of the team’s stay in Vegas, and while he went cold from the field at times, he finished with 19 points again on Friday. He is certainly a contender for the starting shooting guard spot if the team keeps its promise to bring Lou Williams off of the bench. Jenkins was joined by Shelvin Mack, who is the presumed front-runner for the 3rd point guard spot, and Mack finished with 12 points.
Finally, Dennis Schröder finished a fantastic week with his best shooting performance of his time in Vegas. The rookie point guard shot 3 of 6 from beyond the arc, but as usual, his all-court play stood out. He scored 15 points, racked up 5 assists, and used his considerable length to clamp down on the Kings defensively.
There will be time to dissect the team’s performance player-by-player between now and training camp, but overall, I think the Summer League showing was mostly a success despite a 1-4 team record. Schröder was an absolute stud (and the entire NBA seems to love him), the Jenkins/Scott/Mack trio showed that they are capable of contributing this season, and Nogueira, while extremely raw, showed the flashes that made him a 1st-round talent.
Now, it’s the long wait until training camp.