Atlanta Hawks: Rookies getting noticed

Vivlamore reporting. The Hawks are off today. Here is my story on rookies John Jenkins and Mike Scott that will appear in Saturday’s print edition of the AJC.

John Jenkins and Mike Scott are on the verge of doing something two Hawks picks haven’t done in four previous drafts.

Make the team.

Consider the team’s recent history:

* 2011 – Keith Benson

* 2010 – Damion James (traded) and Pape Sy

* 2009 – Jeff Teague and Sergiy Gladyr

* 2008 – No picks

Of that group, only Teague made the team in his draft year. You have to go back to 2007 when Al Horford and Acie Law were kept on the roster as rookies.

Coach Larry Drew said Jenkins and Scott possess an NBA skill set. While the two are still learning the speed of the professional game, they will, in all likelihood, be contributors off the Hawks bench this season.

First-round draft pick John Jenkins works on his 3-point shot during a recent Hawks practice. BOB ANDRES  BANDRES@AJC.COM

First-round draft pick John Jenkins works on his 3-point shot during a recent Hawks practice. BOB ANDRES BANDRES@AJC.COM

Jenkins, the team’s first-round pick (No. 23 overall) was considered one of the nation’s best shooters in this year’s draft out of Vanderbilt. The 6-foot-6 guard led the SEC in scoring each of the past two seasons. He tied for 16th in the nation with a 19.9 points per game average and tied for 10th by shooting 43.9 percent from 3-point range last year.

“I can see he’s doing a lot of thinking,” Drew said during training camp. “When you do too much thinking it takes away a little bit from your instinctive moves. Right now, he’s learning. He’ll continue to learn. Once he gets comfortable with everything, I’ll see a better flow with him. John can shoot the basketball. He’s, right now, at this level trying to learn a whole new system which he is not accustomed to. I expected that.”

Jenkins has appeared in three of the Hawks’ five exhibition games this season. He sat out Thursday’s game against the Hornets with a left hand contusion. While on the court, Jenkins has made 5 of 13 field-goal attempts, including 3 of 7 from 3-point range. His total of 13 points is an average of 4.3 per game.

Jenkins, the Hawks’ leading scorer in summer league play with 15.6 points, said the pace of NBA play has been his greatest adjustment during training camp and the exhibition season. He has not had an issue getting his shot attempts.

“I’m not used to having open shots,” Jenkins said. “I had an open shot every time I touched the ball against the Spurs (his exhibition debut). That’s way different for me. Adjusting to that has been a good adjustment rather than a bad one. In college, I was getting double-teamed so much. When I came out here, everybody is so good that you can’t do that. There is a lot more space.”

Scott, a second-round pick (No. 43), said he has adapted well offensively, but learning the defensive principles has given him the most problems.

Scott, who came out of Virginia 21st in the nation with a .563 field-goal percentage, has appeared in four exhibition games. The 6-8 forward has made 11 of 28 field-goal attempts. His total of 28 point is a 7.0 per game average. Scott is also averaging 3.5 rebounds per game.

Second-round draft pick Mike Scott shoots free throws during a recent practice. BOB ANDRES  BANDRES@AJC.COM

Second-round draft pick Mike Scott shoots free throws during a recent practice. BOB ANDRES BANDRES@AJC.COM

“I was nervous when it first started out, excited and nervous,” Scott said. “I’m just trying to learn. Learn from the vets, Al (Horford), Josh (Smith), Anthony Tolliver, those guys who play my position. I think each day I’m getting better and better but I still have a lot more to go.”

Scott hit a clutch 3-pointer against the Spurs in his debut Oct. 10. The shot, part of his 11 points and seven straight, tied the game with four seconds remaining before the Spurs won at the buzzer.

Drew said he designed the play to put the rookie in a pressure situation.

The play was not completely new to Scott. It was in the Virginia playbook – stolen from the Timberwolves as a set for Kevin Love – although never run during a game. Scott said he received a call from Virginia coach Tony Bennett who immediately noticed the play and joked that Drew was stealing his plays.

“It was probably one of the biggest shots I’ve ever taken, even though it was a preseason game,” Scott said. “For him to call that play for me shows he has a lot of confidence in me at that time. If I make it, I make it as long as I don’t shy away from it.”

- Chris Vivlamore

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* Hawks report: More defense, tweets

Follow me on Twitter at ajchawks

134 comments Add your comment

Astro Joe

October 19th, 2012
1:12 pm

CV, James was traded on draft night for Jamal Crawford who did make the team and got a little playing time before he was traded.

FTPB, not only is Harris’ injury record a concern, but Damion James may explode if he actually plays more than 35 games in a single NBA season.

Najeh Davenpoop

October 19th, 2012
1:22 pm

^Jordan Crawford

Chris Vivlamore

October 19th, 2012
1:22 pm

Astro Joe: I will make that clearer.

Najeh Davenpoop

October 19th, 2012
1:23 pm

Morrow, Jenkins, and Korver all seem like pretty much the same player to me. Tough to see how all three can be useful. The same could be said about Teague, Harris, and Lou, but those three are all better all-around players than these three non-defending, non-shot-creating sharpshooters.

Dasher

October 19th, 2012
1:27 pm

Out of curiosity, does anyone know what happened to Hoopinion and if ESPN is supposed to have another Hawks blog? I haven’t been able to find anything about that.

Chris Vivlamore

October 19th, 2012
1:37 pm

MyTopSportsbook.com sent me their odds for teams to win the NBA title. Hawks are 16th.

1. Miami Heat: 2/1 (Wins $200 on a $100 bet.)
2. Los Angeles Lakers: 5/2 (Wins $250 on a $100 bet.)
3. Oklahoma City Thunder: 4/1 (Wins $400 on a $100 bet.)
4. Chicago Bulls: 12/1 (Wins $1200 on a $100 bet.)
5. San Antonio Spurs: 16/1 (Wins $1600 on a $100 bet.)
6. Los Angeles Clippers: 20/1 (Wins $2000 on a $100 bet.)
7. Boston Celtics: 20/1 (Wins $2000 on a $100 bet.)
8. Brooklyn Nets: 25/1 (Wins $2500 on a $100 bet.)
9. New York Knicks: 25/1 (Wins $2500 on a $100 bet.)
10. Dallas Mavericks: 30/1 (Wins $3000 on a $100 bet.)
11. Indiana Pacers: 30/1 (Wins $3000 on a $100 bet.)
12. Memphis Grizzlies: 30/1 (Wins $3000 on a $100 bet.)
13. Philadelphia 76ers: 40/1 (Wins $4000 on a $100 bet.)
14. Denver Nuggets: 60/1 (Wins $6000 on a $100 bet.)
15. Houston Rockets: 60/1 (Wins $6000 on a $100 bet.)
16. Atlanta Hawks: 60/1 (Wins $6000 on a $100 bet.)
17. Utah Jazz: 75/1 (Wins $7500 on a $100 bet.)
18. Minnesota Timberwolves: 65/1 (Wins $6500 on a $100 bet.)
19. Portland Trailblazers: 100/1 (Wins $10000 on a $100 bet.)
20. Milwaukee Bucks: 100/1 (Wins $10000 on a $100 bet.)
21. Orlando Magic: 150/1 (Wins $15000 on a $100 bet.)
22. New Orleans Hornets: 150/1 (Wins $15000 on a $100 bet.)
23. Phoenix Suns: 150/1 (Wins $15000 on a $100 bet.)
24. Golden State Warriors: 150/1 (Wins $15000 on a $100 bet.)
25. Cleveland Cavaliers: 200/1 (Wins $20000 on a $100 bet.)
26. Detroit Pistons: 200/1 (Wins $20000 on a $100 bet.)
27. Washington Wizards: 200/1 (Wins $20000 on a $100 bet.)
28. Sacramento Kings: 250/1 (Wins $25000 on a $100 bet.)
29. Toronto Raptors: 250/1 (Wins $25000 on a $100 bet.)
30. Charlotte Bobcats: 500/1 (Wins $50000 on a $100 bet.)

jgsbirds

October 19th, 2012
1:42 pm

looking forward to the season to get started. couldn’t watch the game last night but it sounds like the team got rolling in the 2nd half. even though it is preseason–it’s good to get wins–gives the team the right attitude.

Najeh Davenpoop

October 19th, 2012
1:49 pm

Not that odds should ever be interpreted as predictions, but the Mavs are way too high and the Jazz and T-Wolves are way too low on that list.

Grandad

October 19th, 2012
1:53 pm

Najeh … ” Tough to see how all three can be useful ”

Teaguer / Harris / Lou:
Only two of the three will remain to be seen – which ?
In the mean – pressure def requires conditioning & depth.
Personally – I see Lou as our pg down the road;
Teaguer gets traded … Value ! Danny did not sign Lou to trade him.
*[do you see any correlation between Lou and TParker / skill set] ?

JJenkins; KKorv; Morrow:
JJ + rook = time will tell.
Korv = vet leadership + *defensive smarts ( IQ ) if not foot speed.
*Thibs influence [in] teaching / learning / experience
Morrow = another shooter when one has a bad nite …..
also Morrow young enough to have TradeValue !

Sum = Big Picture !

cp

October 19th, 2012
1:59 pm

Lou is not a pg. He is a guy that comes off the bench and gets buckets

Slimjr

October 19th, 2012
2:05 pm

Just Joe

October 19th, 2012
5:58 am

“Let’s not get too excited. We were out rebounded on our own court by a front line of R. Lopez, A. Davis, H. Warrick, and R. Anderson. We shot 41% from the field. That’s LD’s lofty defensive goal. I guess he would have given NO a gold star. I’m glad we won, but I’m still saying, as is, we will probably miss the playoffs. We’re not deep enough up front, and have too many one dimensional players on the roster”

Just Joe: A man full of Wisdom!

JJ the Hawks just dismantled a Lottery team and some believe this team is a contender already?

That Bridge up in Brooklyn maybe up for sale….. lol

6th in defense without the Allstar? Hmmmmmmm

Danny Ferry

October 19th, 2012
2:08 pm

When did Jenkins become 6′6″…he was listed at 6′4″ coming out of college.

Slimjr

October 19th, 2012
2:10 pm

Like those undefeated Falcons whose 1st [6] opponents are a whopping 47-65 combined, the Hawks will be tested by the Elite and we will see how they measure up..

Stay tuned..

Just Joe

October 19th, 2012
2:27 pm

Ken S…FTPB, I expect this team to struggle because of chemistry issues that LD will not be able to manage through.

Free agents “to be” Teague, Harris, Korver, Morrow, and Stevenson are all used to getting 20+ minutes a night. More than one of them is going to get upset with LD’s irrational substitution patterns.

I believe in clearly defined roles & expectations. I think that players have a tendency to “be ready” when they know how they are going to be used. Woody was too rigid with his roster, but LD is his polar opposite, and this roster of “tweeners” & overlapping skillsets isn’t going to help.

I also think that a jumpshot-oriented offense will create some animosity when certain shooters go cold or demonstrate questionable shot selection. Guys get tired of hustling down court, setting hard screens, cutting to the basket, etc… just to see somebody jack up a contested jumper with plenty of time left on the shot clock. This is where the coach has to show that he’s in control, and make sure that everyone understands the offensive philosophy.

Above is just an opinion though. If I’m wrong, and LD gets this team to a 4th seed or better (like some here predict), he deserves coach of the year consideration and a new contract (another opinion).

Ignition

October 19th, 2012
2:31 pm

Playoffs gonna be a challenge, so lets not mention title..
However we have a lot of decent parts an should be way more exciting to watch..

Runner-

October 19th, 2012
2:44 pm

Cp, to be honesy, neither is Teague. D Harris impressed me the most at point last night, and I think he might be able to claim the starting spot if Teague’s ankle injury holds him back

Astro Joe

October 19th, 2012
2:58 pm

Oops, yes, Jordan (Crawford).

I see the odds makers have the Hawks as the 8th most likely team to win the championship. That’s about where i see this team in terms of conference ranking, in that 7-8 range.

I’m a little more bullish on the Raptors than most (I guess).

MsDee

October 19th, 2012
2:58 pm

Just Joe,

The only person that falls into that category of “jacking up a contested jumper with plenty of time left on the shot clock,” is Josh. And you are right about, “it will create some animosity, guys getting tired of hustling down court, setting hard screens.” If Drew wont or cant take control of his team if and when this happens, trust me, he too will be joining my boy Keith Benson, waiting for their next big gig.

Astro Joe

October 19th, 2012
3:09 pm

To use a baseball term, it appears that LD will deploy a “platoon” at PG this season. Teague, Devin and even Lou will form a 3-headed PG over 48 minutes.

Grandad

October 19th, 2012
3:15 pm

Our Hawks are a play-off team, though not a (4) seed.
DHarris is not here long term.
Lou is.
Teague ?
KKorv may? be around longer than yawl think.
DF will acquire another Big eventually [this yr] – ColeAldrich perhaps?
Zaza; Al; Ivan; … not tiny … just not long and rangy.
Our three combo guards are small when combined;
-but-
when paired with:
DeSteve / Korv / Morrow / Jenkins = norm size bk-ct

James; Josh; DeSteve; Korv; Morrow; others equal:
size; shooters; quickness; defense; rebounding @ the [3].

Mix & Match
____________________________________________

LD / 30 games

ctrim

October 19th, 2012
3:37 pm

When did the term All Star become derogatory? Shouldn’t be blogging if you are that much smarter than NBA coaches/executives. Al was lucky enough to be named an All Star not once, but twice? Brilliant observations. So brilliant I will create a new blog name and agree with myself.

Lottery Pick

October 19th, 2012
3:39 pm

That ctrim is a smart one..cosign

O'Brien

October 19th, 2012
3:42 pm

Najeh,

With Jenkins, Korver and Morrow, it allows LD to have a shooter on the floor at all times if he wants to. But I agree. They seem very redundant.

Grandad,

I think LD makes it through the year, because the Hawks will be battling for one of the playoff spots (imo, 7-8).

Rod from College Park

October 19th, 2012
3:53 pm

The Jenkins pick looks worse and worse everyday. The guy can shoot, but so can Morrow, Korver, Lou and Stevenson. We still need a SF, and a center, that wants to be a center.

Alex

October 19th, 2012
3:54 pm

That Jeff Schultz sure is an idiot.

Ra'mon

October 19th, 2012
3:55 pm

G’dad, though it’s rare, I agree with you (in reference to Teague). I don’t see Teague being the point guard of the future for this team. I’m not sure its Lou either. But when Harris is healthy, I put Teague as the 3rd best option at PG on this team. Teague just seems to have too many moments when he doesn’t ‘get it’. Teague goes and out plays Rose in stretches. But then he turns around and gets dominated by an average Joe. Teague is easily in the top 6 of most athletic PGs in the league. With that athletic ability, there’s NO REASON for him not to be as lethal as Mookie or Payton on the defensive end. If Teague went all out on the defensive end, that alone would change the entire makeup of this team. However, with him playing AVERAGE defense, and his offense being worst than Harris and Lou’s, than that leaves him replaceable. So truthfully, when given a healthy Harris, I think Teague should be the 6th man. With Harris and Lou starting in the back court, I think you have two guards who know how and when to create shots and when to get others involved.

Also, the decision on SF I believe will decide just how much guts LD has. I think a vast majority of us believe that James should be the starting SF most nights. It takes guts for a head coach to start a training camp invite on the first game of the season. However, from what WE’VE seen, is there any other player in the running for minutes at SF who has out performed James? I believe you possibly keep your shooters (Morrow and Korver) together to put them with Ivan and Zaza. When Ivan and Zaza are out there working, they will give teams fits if they have two shooters with them, and a penetrating point guard.

So at this point, my depth chart for the team would be (with health not being an issue):

Starters – Harris, Williams, James, Josh, Al

2nd unit – Teague, Morrow, Korver, Ivan, Zaza

Reserves – Stevenson, Jenkins, Petro (you have to have 3 centers on bench, no matter how good they are).

GAIL

October 19th, 2012
4:04 pm

I was at the Charlotte game last night and I must say I was very impressed with our TEAM. Jeff played with so much confidence and Al looked like an ALLSTAR.

Astro Joe

October 19th, 2012
4:08 pm

Stevenson, Korver and Morrow will be gone (at worse) in May, with 1-2 of them gone in February. One thing is for sure, you don’t draft a non-lottery player because you expect great production from him in the first 3-4 months of his NBA career.

Slimjr

October 19th, 2012
4:37 pm

Mookie> Teague all day every day.. No contest!

Slimjr

October 19th, 2012
4:44 pm

Rod from College Park

October 19th, 2012
3:53 pm

“The Jenkins pick looks worse and worse everyday. The guy can shoot, but so can Morrow, Korver, Lou and Stevenson. We still need a SF, and a center, that wants to be a center.”

I’m afraid I may agree Rod..
We need PJ3 more so right now at the 3.. This dude is smooth off the dribble at 6′11″ and and he is [mid-range Shawty] for real! His mid-range jumper is deadly.. Un-guardable….

“Shoot the J! Shoot it!” -Dave Chappell-

Slimjr

October 19th, 2012
4:45 pm

At least he was not #2 pick Rod? lol!

jhan

October 19th, 2012
4:58 pm

Mookie > Teague – take you long to figure that one out?

Najeh Davenpoop

October 19th, 2012
5:28 pm

” I see Lou as our pg down the road”

Based on what? Yeah, his assist-turnover ratio is great, but he has never had to create for teammates before. Teague and Harris have. Not saying he can’t do it, but you would think if he had that ability Philly would have used him in that role at some point. It’s not like they have had a ton of elite pass-first point guards there.

grimey

October 19th, 2012
6:04 pm

I thought Jenkins was 6′4

Remembering Roundfield

October 19th, 2012
6:16 pm

Who in the heck is PJ3? I try to keep up with the initials guys, but I’m gettin’ older and I also have a life…

cp

October 19th, 2012
6:27 pm

Its Perry Jones from Baylor….

Echevarria

October 19th, 2012
6:46 pm

Heres my version of the lineup I’d like to see, ill explain after:

Starters: Teague, Jenkins (if LD has guts), James (if LD has guts), Smith, Horford
Second unit: Harris, Williams, Korver, Ivan, Zaza
Reserves: Petro, Scott, Stevenson

Here’s why I like that starting lineup. Firstly, you get Horf and Smith as a dynamic duo at the 4-5. They may both be tweener’s, but they work together very well. They space the lane perfectly for each other, no reason to disrupt that. We keep Teague starting because he SHOULD be our PG of the future, so let him continue to start now and gain experience with the core of Smith/Horf. We get to test Jenkins out early, he can spread the floor for the inside guys, and he won’t be relied on heavily within the first unit because he will be the 4th option on offense at best, so he’ll get to experience the flow of the game. James has just proven he can play ball. I was happy when we drafted him years ago, then pissed when we shipped him out. I wanted him the whole time leading to the draft.

Here is the strength of the Hawks in this scenario, our second unit. We have Harris and Williams, but up-tempo, shot creating Guards who need the ball in their hands to make plays. They get to be on the floor with “dirty-work guys” like Zaza and Johnson. Both guys who are more than happy to rebound and set screens. This way Harris and Williams both get to play to their fullest potentials by being in their role, offensive weapons who get to create. We would have solid rebounding for them and they would be the primary offensive options when they are on the court.

Mickey Facyz

October 19th, 2012
6:47 pm

Let’s set some things straight.

1) You wanna hear some whiners? Go over to the nests blog and watch them bash the slow-footed Deron Williams

2) We do not have a prototypical PG on our roster (Stockton/Nash) What we do have is a bunch of beasts with elite ball handling capabilities who can get you five to eight dimes a night (well…..not in this pass oriented motion offense but you get what i’m saying). “JeDevLou” is athletic and all have played Shooting Guard in their lives. Two days ago I was on a Hornets blog and they wanted one of our PG’s (Didn’t matter which one) because they don’t have one. Be thankful Hawks fans. Very Thankful.

2) You obviously didn’t watch the game if you don’t think Teague is our starting Point Guard

3) Please stop Crying over our Small Forward Spot. Anyone we place there is better than Marvin’s clumbsy, no dribblin’, not shot makin’, butterfinger, Mr “I can’t post up a Point Guard without gettin’ my shot blocked” self.

4) My Expendables list: Stevenson, Tolliver, Petro, Zaza, James and maybe Scott. Look for Danny to shake somethin’ up when it gets closer to the trade deadline.

SB75

October 19th, 2012
6:50 pm

I to wanted PJ3 and was a little pissed with Jenkins being the pick. However with Ferry coming in on short notice, I attributed the pick to someone the Spurs looked at with their pick. Therefore Ferry was comfortable and familiar with him. SO he took the guy he was likely to take with the Spurs.

Harpie

October 19th, 2012
7:01 pm

Why waste your time imagining what the Hawks might do? Because the worst coach on earth is going to drag them down to the bottom of the barrel no matter what the players are capable of…

Mickey Facyz

October 19th, 2012
7:08 pm

I didn’t know Mike Woodson Still Coached here?

D. Ransby

October 19th, 2012
7:48 pm

Perry Jones knees will NOT hold out! He has 3 to 4 years tops on those knees until they become like Webber post surgery. It’s bone on bone now… He is skinny so he wont be able to post up to compensate. Jenkins can and will always be able to shoot. Rarely do you see someone with a shooting stroke so polished in the NBA, much rather college. Short term, Perry will probably outshine Jenkins, but next year is the year Jenkins will get major playing time. Jenkins was the right pick at the time and the right pick now…

VinceVanGo

October 19th, 2012
8:09 pm

Hey whatever happened to Pape Sy? I thought he was suppose to make the team this year and I don’t think he was even invited to camp,

ag

October 19th, 2012
8:22 pm

My ESPN the MAG came in today. The Hawks are ranked #2 in the East. I would feel very comfortable with that – but only if Sloan or another coach is coaching the team. I am pulling for LD – and I hope we do as expected.

Runner-

October 19th, 2012
8:31 pm

No way Hawks will finish at #2 this season lmao, especially with LD at the helm and with no true starting SF or no true center on the roster

ag

October 19th, 2012
8:51 pm

Ra’mon, the problem with the lineup that you propose will not give us enough fire power for the second unit. Teague and Harris played really well together. Lou is instant offense off the bench. I am probably the last one who likes the ‘6th’ man off the bench, but Lou appears to gravitate for that opportunity. Lou, Morrow and Korver off the bench will certainly provide the scoring punch and make up for the deficiencies of ZaZa and Ivan. Those two I would only want them to focus on rebounding and great defense.

The starters of Teague, Harris, James, Al and Josh I think is the best. I like James because he appears to be a very strong rebounder. Our outside shooting will struggle with these starters though. Some games you may want to tinker and get a Korver or Morrow starting.

The other two players dressing, Scott and Jenkins.

Petro, and Tolliver and Stevenson should wear suits.

Good luck Anderson…

ag

October 19th, 2012
8:56 pm

Runner – not my prediction, I just read it. I have to double check to make sure they were not just saying second in their division. As an optimistic Hawk fan, we will have a really fun season if that comes to fruition.

VinceVanGo – Pape Sy looked terrible in the Summer League. After MC said the kid really beefed up on the weights, he just looked bad. To top it off, he did not even make his Olympic team.

Harpie – I am also very tough on LD, but he did keep it together after all of those injuries last year.

Astro Joe

October 19th, 2012
9:03 pm

Do you have 30 minutes of spare time to test your GMing skills? Do you draft like Billy Knight? Sign players like Rick Sund? Make trades like Danny Ferry?

Join several other Hawks bloggers and see what you can do with our fantasy basketball league. We currently have openings for another 2-3 players (slots are filling up). But only those who can maintain their rosters over the full season (requires about 30 minutes/week) should join this league.

http://basketball.fantasysports.yahoo.com/nba
League ID# 72440
Password: vivlamore

Melvin

October 19th, 2012
9:09 pm

Watching the Knicks/Raps. The Knicks look terrible… I know they are trying to work some new players into the rotation but they look in disarray.

Troll report.

October 19th, 2012
9:16 pm

One mans imagination

Runner-
D. Ransby
VinceVanGo
Mickey Facyz
Harpie
grimey
Echevarria
GAIL
Alex
jgsbirds
Ignition
Dasher