NBA Summer League: Untested Spurs take on Hawks tonight
Mar 15, 2012; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores forward Jeffery Taylor (44) celebrates with guard John Jenkins (23) after the game against the Harvard Crimson in the second round of the 2012 NCAA men
San Antonio Spurs (0-0) vs. Atlanta Hawks (1-0)Time: 7:00 p.m.TV: NBA TVVenue: Cox Pavilion
The San Antonio Spurs enter Summer League play with a roster capable of inflicting damage on their opponent. Bolstered by the NBA D-League champion Austin Toros and an array of European prospects, undrafted free agents and likely former Spurs (James Anderson solemnly raises his hand), this team is strong enough to win a good amount of their Summer League games.
San Antonio, headed by assistant Jacque Vaughn, also has a terrific track record of success in Summer League. They’ve won their fair share of games and even uncovered an undrafted gem out of Towson, Gary Neal. Neal parlayed an impressive showing in Vegas two years ago into a rotation spot that nets him an average of 21.3 minutes per game.
The last roster spot will likely be decided by who impresses the coaching staff most in these fluid, sometimes aesthetically unappealing games that can act as a springboard for future success.
Some Hawks of note to watch tonight:
John Jenkins– Jenkins was lauded as one of the purest shooters in the draft class (43.8% shooting from behind the arc in college) and he didn’t disappoint in Atlanta’s first Summer League game against Washington — a 20-point route. Jenkins totaled a 19-3-4 line in addition to his patented shooting — four 3-pointers. He converted on 54% of his shot attempts as well.
Mike Scott– Though Scott turned the ball over five times against Washington, he’s still a nice versatile offensive threat. He can face up from the perimeter and score from the post. He’s attempting to play small forward to increase his positional flexibility but that may be too much to ask for.
Keith Benson– Honestly, I only watched the Wizards-Hawks tilt to get a look at Bradley Beal. (The Spurs were reportedly pursuing him.) But I came away impressed with Benson, who tied Jenkins for the team lead in points (19). He added six rebounds while shooting 9-of-12 from the field. Benson is an intriguing big man because, in addition to his length, he has a certain fluidity to his game.