John Jenkins proved a few things in the Hawks’ 102-82 summer league victory over the Washington Wizards on Thursday night, but the most obvious was that his shot is as good as advertised. Jenkins scored 19 points, canning 4 of 5 three pointers and flaunting the quick release that impressed so many scouts before the draft. His early barrage of 3-pointers set the tone for the Hawks, who took over the game just minutes into the second quarter.
While Jenkins seemed to dominate every second he was on the floor, he received plenty of help from his teammates. Keith Benson also scored 19 points on 9-12 shooting, and pulled down 6 rebounds as well. Perhaps the most surprising contributions were from Frank Hassell, who scored 10 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. While the numbers suggest just an average game for Hassell, he was everywhere defensively and offensively, getting his hands on all the loose balls and battling for every rebound, even when the attempt seemed futile. 10 and 6 in 15 minutes is the type of production that gets a player an invite to camp, so if Hassell keeps up his activity level, he might be one step closer to making an NBA roster, even if it isn’t the Hawks’.
Hawks’ 2012 2nd round draft pick Mike Scott struggled in his summer league debut, scoring only 7 points on 3-8 shooting, but fellow rookie John Shurna, who went undrafted from Northwestern, wasn’t any better, scoring only 5 points on 1-5 shooting. Brad Wannamaker, the former Pittsburgh Panther, picked up the slack offensively to score 13 points while doling out 6 assists as he paced the Hawks offensively.
Overall, however, it was Jenkins’ activity that spurred the Hawks forward. His dunk on Washington’s star rookie Bradley Beal in transition was one of the more impressive moments of the game, and his finish off a Shurna lob from an inbounds pass was equally impressive as he caught it with one hand on a perfectly timed jump, and lofted it gently into the hoop.
Beal lived up to the hype in his first summer league game, scoring 22 points while shooting 9-10 from the free-throw line, but shot an unimpressive 1-7 from the field in the 3rd quarter when the Hawks ran the Wizards out of the gym.
Atlanta, who is now 1-0 in Summer League play, faces off against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night.