Summer league success doesn’t always translate to regular season success but the Atlanta Hawks have to feel pretty good about what they have seen so far from first round picks Taurean Prince and DeAndre Bembry. Both players have played key roles in Atlanta’s 3-1 start and made their presence felt in a big way in Wednesday’s win over the Sacramento Kings.
Prince turned heads against the Kings with a game-high 21 points and nine rebounds. He was playing in just his second summer league game after his debut was held up while waiting for the league to approve the three-team trade by which the Hawks acquired him. Prince put up a good showing in Monday’s debut despite not having practice before being cleared to play, but looked much more comfortable on Wednesday.
"A little more confident,” Prince answered when asked about his improvement from Game 1. “Just having that one under your belt, gives you a lot more confidence as far as just doing what you want to do."
Prince was aggressive in attacking the basket against the Kings and got to the free throw line nine times in the game.
"I love that about him,” Taylor Jenkins said when asked about Prince’s improvement from Game 1. “He responded from the first game to the second game. He knew the mistakes he was making, the shots he was turning down. He's trying to play the right way at the end of the day. He's not trying to do too much.... That definitely showed today. He had an aggressive mentality and was going out there trying to make the simple play."
Bembry was no slouch either finishing with 13 points and five rebounds while going 5 for 8 from the field. Bembry has done a little bit of everything for the Hawks in the first four games of summer league averaging 10.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.2 steals.
Having watched DeMarre Carroll and Kent Bazemore reap big paydays in each of the last two offseasons, the Hawks know well how hot of a commodity solid wing players are in today’s NBA. So far Prince and Bembry are passing every test.