The Atlanta Hawks appear to be peaking at the right time (at least as it refers to Summer League), as they have won back-to-back games in order to advance to the quarterfinals in Las Vegas. Their prize for that advancement is the opportunity to square off with the Houston Rockets with a berth in the league's "final four" on the line.
Darvin Ham has firmly established a rotation of Dennis Schröder, Trevor Releford, Stephen Holt, Lamar Patterson and Casey Prather on the perimeter, with Mike Muscala, Adreian Payne, Walter Tavares and the occasional appearance from D.J. Shelton up front. Aside from a last second insertion of John Jenkins, who has missed the great majority of the week as part of his recovery from back surgery, that will be the group that faces Houston, and as evidenced on Thursday, if they shoot well, all bets are off.
The Rockets are led by guard Isaiah Canaan and big man Donatas Motiejunas, both of whom are expected to crack the rotation for a top team in the Western Conference. Canaan was featured in the Summer League diary from Thursday as he put up 28 points in a victory over the Cavs, and he is quite explosive. The match-up of the day will likely be Canaan versus Dennis Schröder, and the winner of that individual battle with have a leg up in the overall game.
If the Hawks manage to win their third straight, they will advance to the semifinals to meet the winner of the Bobcats-Knicks game, and the next step would theoretically come at 6:00 pm ET on Sunday. Until then, however, the Hawks will be focusing on the Rockets, and it will be intriguing to see how the team responds, especially coming off an off day on Friday.
Game Date/Time: Saturday, July 19th, 6:00 p.m. ET
Location: Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
TV: NBA-TV, Summer League Live (Online, $)