During the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, we will be giving out grades to the players based on their game performance. Just remember folks, this is Summer League and not the NBA Finals.
After going 0-3 in their first three games of Summer League, the Hawks now have two straight wins. They probably won’t hang any banners in Philips Arena for it, but seeing the improvement of the team under Darvin Ham has been a positive as this thing winds down.
Atlanta beat Portland 88-65, advancing to the quarterfinals, and there were a lot of positives coming off of the win. We saw breakout performances from two rookies, and had solid contributions all across the board.
Let’s grade some of the performances of the big contributors during Thursday’s win over the Trail Blazers:
DENNIS SCHRÖDER: B-
Dennis Schröder has played really well for most of Summer League, and has shown much improvement in all areas of his game. Although he didn’t shoot well in this one (2 of 9 from the field), he made his impact in other ways. Dennis finished with 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and a steal, showing that he can help the team beyond scoring. He also cut his turnovers and fouls down (3 each), while playing good defense against two NBA rotation guards.
STEPHEN HOLT: A
For those wondering who Stephen Holt is, he is a rookie out of St. Mary’s who has shown some scoring skill for Atlanta during Summer League. With John Jenkins not being able to play with back problems, Holt has gotten more minutes than expected, and has played well. He had 15 points on 5 of 10 shooting to go along with 5 rebounds and 2 assists. He hit three straight shots from beyond the arc at one point, and was a key part to the win on Thursday. With his performance during Summer League, it is likely that Holt has earned himself a training camp invite in the coming months.
ADREIAN PAYNE: A
Adreian Payne has played relatively well during Summer League, but has yet to play at a good pace and shoot the ball well. All of that changed during the blowout win on Thursday, though. Payne shot 7 of 11 from the field and had a team-high 19 points to go along with 3 rebounds. He continued to show his athleticism, and it appears that he will fit in quite well with the Hawks this season. He also went 3 of 5 from three-point range, and that is where he could truly make a big impact this season.
MIKE MUSCALA: B-
Muscala and Schröder get the same grade because they had similar games. Like Dennis, Mike didn’t shoot the ball well (5 of 14 from the field), but he did well in all other aspects of the game. He did finish with 14 points and 7 rebounds, as well as one steal and one block to show off how active he was on defense. Muscala also showed some nice moves around the rim and continued to pass well. Let’s see if he can carry his impressive play into training camp and show coach Budenholzer that he’s ready for a rotation spot.