The debuts of Dennis Schröder and Lucas Nogueira were highly anticipated as the Atlanta Hawks opened play at the Vegas Summer League. Predictably there were some things that need improving but it was also easy to see what caught Danny Ferry's eye prior to selecting them in the NBA Draft.
Nogueira was a late addition to the summer league roster as he didn't obtain clearance from FIBA until sometime on Friday. He ended up starting the game at center and finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and one blocked shot in 29 minutes.
The first thing that jumped out in regards to Nogueira was how long he was but also how much he is going to have to add strength and bulk up to be successful in the NBA. That he was credited with only one block is sort of an illusion because there were many situations where he altered or caused misses with his help defense. He did struggle at times with trying to match the power of Samardo Samuels who simply bashed his way through Nogueira for a couple of baskets.
Offensively, Nogueira showed some nice passing skills and also looked good finishing off a couple of pick and rolls with dunks off of lob passes. I thought he got up and down the floor well and had pretty good quickness for a player his size.
Schröder played just over 31 minutes while finishing with six points and seven assists to go along with two turnovers. He finished just 2-8 from the field and both of his makes came on three pointers. A lot of people will focus on Schröder's inability to finish and how he had two of his shots at the rim blocked in the summer league opener. I have watched a lot of summer league basketball this week and one thing that has stood out was how some guys struggled early in the week in Orlando were able to adjust by the end of the week. Schröder will have to make adjustments but there is nothing that suggests he can't.
What I did like from him was his poise and he looks like a perfect fit for the pick and roll game which also looks like it is going to be a big part of Atlanta's offense going forward. Defensively he and others got lost on some rotations and didn't close out to shooters well. His on ball defense looked pretty good but, like any other rookie, getting stronger and learning how to get around those high screens are areas he will have to improve on.
Mike Scott played just over 12 minutes and finished with nine points and two rebounds on 4-4 shooting but did not return in the second half.
Mike Muscala played primarily at the power forward position and had a quietly good game with 11 points and six rebounds on 5-8 shooting. He also showed the ability to stretch the floor as he buried a pair of 18-20 footers.
One of the reasons Muscala was at power forward was because he was either playing alongside Nogueira or gigantic 7-3 Boban Marjanovic who finished with four points, three boards, two blocks and a whole lot of oohs and ahhhs. Marjanovic, while rather mechanical, moved pretty well considering his size. I was impressed with his passing ability and although I can't imagine him being able to close out to the perimeter in pick and pop situations he is massive inside and takes up lots of space. Did I mention that Marjanovic is massive? He made Muscala look like a guard when they were standing side by side.
Shelvin Mack had a pretty nice game with 11 points and six assists including a buzzer beating three to end a quarter. Jared Cunningham didn't do a lot finishing with one point while going 0-4 from the floor in just over seven minutes.
Eric Dawson, Sergiy Gladyr and Adonis Thomas received DNP-CD's.
Atlanta is back in action on Sunday when they play the Miami Heat. Tip off is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET
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