Farewell, Summer League. The Atlanta Hawks saw their somewhat "Cinderella" run through the Las Vegas Summer League tournament come to a close on Saturday evening, as they fell to the Houston Rockets by a final of 78-71. Offensively, things were a bit of a mess for Atlanta, as they shot just 35% from the field and a mind-numbing 3 for 28 (11%) from three, and it was simply too much to overcome.
On an individual basis, Mike Muscala and Dennis Schröder had easily the best days for Atlanta. Muscala continued his offensive renaissance this week with 16 points on 6 for 12 shooting, and the big man added 7 rebounds in his 26 minutes of action. Unfortunately, Muscala had some issues staying on the floor with foul trouble, but other than that, he was impressive once again. Schröder joined him in stuffing the stat sheet with 16 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists, and for the most part, Dennis lived up to the billing as his development continues.
Adreian Payne did not have a banner day at the office, but things picked up considerably after the break. The rookie first-rounder shot just 1 for 10 from the field and 1 for 7 from long distance in the first half, but he rallied for 3 for 5 shooting post-halftime, and still managed to put up 11 points and 9 rebounds. Payne continues to fight some jumpiness in his game, but Darvin Ham has repeatedly stated that it is easier to slow players down than speed them up, and the former Michigan State Spartan certainly fits that description.
On the fringe, Casey Prather had a nice day with 13 points and 5 rebounds, but worries continue about his offensive ability. Prather's jump shot is inconsistent at best, and he never looks fully comfortable with the ball in his hands. Edy Tavares continued to be impressive in rim protection and rebounding (6 boards in 12 minutes), but his ball skills are incredibly raw, and his propensity to bring the ball down in the paint leads to trouble.
With the loss, the Hawks will be headed back to Atlanta, and it will be interesting to see what the training camp roster looks like when the parties reconvene. Stay tuned for all the latest.