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Walter Tavares, Lamar Patterson to get playoff experience in the D-League

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Walter Tavares and Lamar Patterson will be staying with the Austin Spurs through the D-League playoffs.

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Walter Tavares and Lamar Patterson have spent the latter part of the season in the D-League and that will continue through the playoffs according to a report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Chris Vivlamore. The Austin Spurs will wrap up the 2016 regular season on Saturday but both Patterson and Tavares will be sticking around for the playoffs.

Austin currently leads the Southwest Division by one game over the Rio Grande Valley Vipers with a 28-20 record. The top teams in each division along with a pair of wild cards from each conference earn playoff berths.

Both Patterson and Tavares have made several trips to the D-League but have been on an extended stay of late. Tavares has appeared in 27 D-League games this season and is averaging 9.0 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game. He is shooting 63 percent from the field and 71 percent from the free throw line.

Lamar Patterson spent a long stretch with the Canton Charge but was recently recalled and reassigned to Austin. He has appeared in 17 D-League games this season and is averaging 13.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists. He is shooting 43 percent from the field but just 27 percent from three-point range.

The Hawks have handled the development of Patterson and Tavares exceptionally this season. Both have been around to work with the coaching staff but have received valuable on-court time in the D-League with the Austin Spurs who run a similar system to that used by the Hawks. It is not the perfect solution, the Hawks are still reportedly looking to acquire their own D-League team, but it is taking advantage of what the system offers and utilizing it in the best way possible.

A rash of injuries would have to occur for Patterson or Tavares to be needed by the Hawks. Sticking in Austin will give them the opportunity to get court time in a playoff-like atmosphere even if it is at a lower level of competition.