The Atlanta Hawks are currently in the middle of a Las Vegas summer league tournament. They are coming off a 91-83 victory against the Dallas Mavericks’ summer league squad putting them into the final four.
Terran Petteway continued his string of strong summer league performances with a fabulous game. He hit his first 8 shots of the game and finished with 19 points including 3 of 6 shooting from behind the arc. Petteway has been a pleasant surprise coming undrafted after 3 years at Nebraska. He started off as a long shot to make the team, but he has clearly impressed in summer league and has proven he deserves a chance to be on an NBA roster. With the Hawks lack of really talented wing players, Petteway has a decent shot of making the team this season if he keeps competing at this level.
Glenn Robinson III bounced back from a dreadful outing in the previous game in which he went 2 for 10 from the field with 4 turnovers in just 21 minutes of play. But Robinson has impressed throughout summer league with his defense, explosiveness and hustle. He showed this explosiveness again against the Mavericks with some highlight dunks on the way to 20 points on 8 of 11 shooting. He was terrific and although his previous performance was lackluster, there is obvious ability in Robinson. He can play in the NBA and also played in college at Michigan with newly acquired Tim Hardaway Jr.
Brandon Ashley put up 19 points in the win versus the Mavericks on 6 of 9 shooting. Ashley is a talented power forward coming out of Arizona, but was not terrific early in summer league. However, he does look to be turning things around. He led the team with 18 points in Thursday night’s win over the Nuggets. Ashley may not make the Hawks team, but his play will start to get noticed around the league if it continues.
Walter Taveras is probably the most exciting Hawks’ summer league player. He is monstrous at 7 feet 3 inches and has the ability to be a real star in this league. He is raw, but he has started in 5 summer league games for the Hawks. He missed Thursday’s game against the Nuggets due to injury, but returned Saturday in the win versus the Mavericks. He was having another solid performance until he suffered a finger laceration that sidelined him for the remainder of the game. He faces a huge learning curve coming into the NBA, but he is averaging 3 blocks a game in just 20 minutes. That is what the Hawks are excited about. He may not be ready now, but the future looks bright.
Lamar Patterson has become one of the leaders on this summer league squad. He gives a solid effort every night and gets the job done. Saturday against the Mavericks, Patterson compiled 16 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds. The Hawks drafted Patterson with a second-round pick last season, so they have full control over him. Patterson looks NBA ready now, but with him under team control, the Hawks may elect to stash him overseas for one more season.
The best news about summer league so far is the team is doing well. They are sharing the ball well and it is paying off. Nobody has tried to come in and be the star. That is why they will be advancing to play the San Antonio Spurs summer league squad in the semifinals in Las Vegas on Sunday at 6 P.M ET.