Atlanta Hawks: Camp report
Notes gathered before nearly crashing my car while taking a call on Louis Williams deal and then trying to tweet the news on my freakin’ phone. . . .
- Pape Sy is back, baby! That’s exciting enough on its own but Sy got me really hyped by showing up looking ripped. Seriously, dude is muscled-up. “I tried to work on my body to get stronger on the court,” he said. “Now I feel great.”
- Larry Drew on Sy: “He’s been in that weight room. He’s gotten stronger. When he goes to the basket, you can see when he takes contact he can still get his shot off. That’s a pro move to take contact and get your shot off.”
- As mentioned a few weeks ago, the Hawks finally have abandoned their plan to try to make Sy a point guard. It was pretty obvious after his first couple of summer games in 2010 that his NBA future is not at the point. “I feel good as a two guard,” Sy said. “I am trying to get to the hoop and I work on my shot. I feel better now. Playing the two may be more easier for me.”
- The Hawks have a hole on their roster on the wing and Sy certainly has the size to play there. He’s always had some potential as a wing defender. Drew said Sy could play some small forward in smaller lineups.
- “Pape has really gotten better,” Drew said. “I’ve always been intrigued by his size, his ability to get to the basket, his strength. He knows how to draw fouls when he goes to the cup. His shot has improved. Defensively he’s aggressive. I think this summer league will be really good for him to see where he measures up at this level.”
- John Jenkins signed his rookie deal. He’ll make about $2.5 million guaranteed over the next two years with Atlanta holding options for two additional seasons.
- So Jenkins is, like, rich. “It won’t change me at all,” he said. “My parents won’t let it happen and the people around me won’t let it happen. It’s also not who I am. I’m a very, very cheap person. I might get a nice car, not much else. I’m very blessed just to be in the NBA.”
- There’s no big secret about the summer focus for Jenkins. “Everyone knows he’s capable of making shots, everybody knows when he’s on the floor you can’t leave him,” Drew said. “But defensively he’s got to get better and he knows that. He’s already said, ‘Coach, just tell me what you need for me to do and I’ll be studying film, I’ll be studying tape, I want to get better in that area.’ He’s a great kid. I’m happy that he’s part of our organization.”
- Jenkins is wearing No. 12. He initially asked for No. 21 but, well, you know. Jenkins then asked for No. 23, his college number, but Lou Hudson already wore it very well for the Hawks.
- Mike Scott already knows you want him to be a small forward: “I’ve been asked that question so many times. I see myself as a four. I’m comfortable as a four but doing three stuff. If I have a mismatch, a bigger guy on me I’m going around or a smaller guy on me I’m posting up. In order for me to transition to three I have to be able to guard a three. That’s something I’m still working on.”
- At Virginia, Scott developed an effective face-up game. Good idea since it’s a big reason he will get a shot in the league. “I always had a pretty good touch,” he said. “Once I realized I wasn’t going to be able to dunk on everybody, I started working on other aspects of my game. Watching a lot of Kevin Love, Chris Bosh, Kevin Garnett—big guys that can shoot from that pick-and-pop range.”
- Scott has pretty good length but isn’t very physically imposing. Drew: “Undersized, but I do think he has the strength to play that [four] position. He’s a phenomenal pick-and-pop shooter so he’s going to have to play to his strengths and get better at his weaknesses. A big part of playing that four is understanding what you can get away with defensively and what you can’t. But I do think he has the strength to hold his own down there.”
- Drew added that Scott “is not an Ivan Johnson as far as strength is concerned” but who is among us lesser beings?
- Keith “Kito” Benson is back, too. Word is he looked much the same during today’s scrimmage–timid and getting knocked around–but Benson says he’s gotten stronger and plans to have an “aggressive mindset” this time around.
- Benson: “I think I have a lot better chance this year because of summer league and spending more time with the coaches. I think I have a good chance to show what I can do and show my skills for a longer period of time. Last year it was about five days.”
- Lester Conner will coach the summer league entry.
- Danny Ferry came out for a moment while reporters were inside the practice facility but didn’t address us media types.
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat
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