Atlanta Hawks: Drew looking for more minutes for Jenkins

Vivlamore reporting.

NEW ORLEANS — With the Hawks short-handed at the guard position, rookie John Jenkins has been pressed into action the past four games.

Not a problem.

Jenkins’ recent play prompted coach Larry Drew to pronounce following Tuesday’s win over the Hornets: “I’ve got to find some minutes for him.”

Jenkins, the first-round draft pick (No. 23 overall) out of Vanderbilt, has been used sparingly this season. However, with guards Devin Harris and Anthony Morrow injured Drew looked to the far end of his bench. Jenkins responded by averaging 9.3 points in 17 minutes. He shot 68.2 percent from the field (15 of 22), including 75 percent (6 of 8) from 3-point range.

“I was just trying to be a spark out there,” Jenkins said. “I know we are short-handed and somebody has to step up. I’m just trying to step up.”

Drew noted before the season that with the veteran guards on the Hawks’ roster it would probably take an injury for Jenkins to get extended minutes. He is getting the chance now with Harris (sore left foot) and Morrow (right hip strain) not able to travel on the recently completed road trip.

Jenkins’ offensive ability was never in question. He was considered the best pure shooter in last year’s draft. He leads the Hawks with a 47.6 3-point field goal percentage (10 of 21) and his shooting 55.3 percent (26 of 47) overall.

Jenkins scored a then career-high 10 points against the Pacers on Dec. 29 and topped it with 15 points against the Rockets Monday.

The biggest challenge would be how long it would take Jenkins to learn the Hawks defensive system and adapt to the speed of the NBA game. Jenkins made Drew take notice with his defense, particularly in the past two games when he had to guard the Rockets’ James Harden and the Hornets’ Eric Gordon.

“He has shown me what I’ve always thought, that this kid is an NBA talent,” Drew said. “It’s just a matter of trying to find minutes for him. It’s a matter of getting him in the rotation. Getting him to really learn what we do.

“Defensively, he has shown that he can move his feet. I like what I saw against Gordon. He had Gordon isolated a couple times. I like what I saw when Gordon tried to reject the screen, John was there.”

Jenkins was likewise pleased with his effort.

“As a rookie, that’s tough,” Jenkins said of guarding the likes of Harden and Gordon. “All in all, I think I did a great job of staying in front of those guys and making them take contested shots. That’s all I can do because guys are going to make shots. They are in the NBA so my job is to stay in front and contest.”

Jenkins said he now is comfortable in both aspects of his game – but it took some time. He said the game moved fast when he reported to training camp but after a few months of practice and film study the game has slowed.

In his 15 games played, Jenkins has averaged 4.4 points, 1.1 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 8.2 minutes. Those numbers figure to increase if Drew finds more minutes for Jenkins even with the returns of Harris and Morrow.

Many Hawks fans have expressed their desire to see more of Jenkins. The rookie said he is aware of the sentiments.

“I kind of just stay in my little zone, my little way, but I definitely hear it and I definitely appreciate it,” Jenkins said.

- Chris Vivlamore

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56 comments Add your comment

Astro Joe

January 2nd, 2013
11:05 am

OB, FTPB, the NBA officially made the center position extinct in terms of the selection process. So I doubt seriously that Horford’s selection will be based on how often he goes against the bigger players in the league. I do agree that Josh is more worthy of the selection (in part because of the novelty of it all). But the term “center” appears to be going down the same path as the term “encyclopedia”.

Astro Joe

January 2nd, 2013
11:10 am

Jenkins said he now is comfortable in both aspects of his game – but it took some time. He said the game moved fast when he reported to training camp but after a few months of practice and film study the game has slowed.

Well, we now know that Jenkins is a BIG, FAT liar. Because there is absolutely NO value in a rookie practicing and studying film in terms of his development. There is a single way to develop young players…. give them consistent playing time in real games.

We should cut Jenkins in the next 10 minutes for being a BIG, FAT liar. Can’t truss him!

MattP

January 2nd, 2013
11:12 am

I have to say, Drew is really surprising me. Now he just needs to learn to not give up so easily and how to use his players offensively.

cb

January 2nd, 2013
11:12 am

All the Hawks need to do is trade Devin Harris and a second round pick to the Sun for Michael Beasley. Then trade Deshawn Stevenson to the Kings for Jimmer Fredette. Thats all.

ATL Sports Pessimist

January 2nd, 2013
11:16 am

Chris, You tried to put (”6 of 8″) but it turned into a smiley with sunglasses haha

Astro Joe

January 2nd, 2013
11:24 am

Practice & film study. What school did that BIG, FAT liar go to? Clayton County Junior College? He must e pretty stupid if he believes that practice and film study helped him become more comfortable with the NBA game. Clearly, he attended a school for the stupid, easily influenced and uninformed.

Trade him for Jordan Crawford… he knows the importance of playing time to learn how to shoot efficiently.

BIG, FAT, liar.

Mike is Back

January 2nd, 2013
11:25 am

Miss Dee, I wasn’t quick enough to respond to previous blog, but I’m with ya on Jenkins.

Jenkins has been impressive…you would think that Sweet Lou and Jenkins would be a terrific one two punch coming off the bench. I would stick with Korver at the starting SG with no DHarris…Korver gives you the type of energy on defense against SGs that you have to have. Korver may not shut anybody down…but the effort is there…he constantly fighting through screens…and hustling his but off trying to make play on defense.

I think Korver is a better option starting at the SG position for the Hawks…no disrespect to Sweet Lou.

O'Brien

January 2nd, 2013
11:46 am

Slim,

Saw this on the 4 letter network, talking about the Knicks. And it reminded me of the Hawks.

On the most basic front, the Knicks’ 3-point waterfall has slowed. This was predictable; they were touching historic accuracy and volume earlier in the season. They were third in the league in percentage in November at 43 percent, then slipped to 11th in December at 37 percent. January started with a 10-of-37 effort and the reduced fun level is bleeding into other areas.

“If we miss a couple shots defensively we sometimes hang our heads,” Jason Kidd said. “Make or miss, we have to play defense because that’s what got us those 21 wins so far.”.

O'Brien

January 2nd, 2013
11:55 am

Somewhere out there, Ken S is smiling.

When Devin and Morrow come back, Devin should get minutes as the backup PG, and I would like to see Morrow get minutes just so he can build up some trade value. If we can trade Morrow (even if it’s for a late first round pick), I would be ok with that. Maybe a playoff team will need a shooter at the deadline. That will allow us to play JJ2 more.

Brazilian_Hawk

January 2nd, 2013
11:56 am

Astro Joe… really. Don’t be stupid. Of course practicing and watching film will help him develop. Just not at the same rate playing will do. I wonder, have you ever been an NBA rookie?

Astro Joe

January 2nd, 2013
11:58 am

I can’t believe it. Just a few hours ago, I was very complementary of Jenkins (in the previous blog). Then he blindsides me with the stupidity of suggesting that practice and film study have helped him prepare for the NBA game.

BIG, FAT, liar.

Trade him for Salim Stoudemire… he NEVER suggested that there was value in practice or film study.

Rusty

January 2nd, 2013
12:00 pm

JJ is being tactful ,probably knows LD is listening hard. He probably knows now how to tread water. JT has again started to play slower,has LD told him he should share the playmaking role with Lou when they are playing together. Does Ivan need rest between games.i can’t even imagine why he isn’t playing decent minutes never less why he isn’t even getting in to the game. I also think Ferry has imput into why JJ is getting to play.

Brazilian_Hawk

January 2nd, 2013
12:02 pm

I doubt Ferry would tell LD to play Jenk and not a word about IVAN’s minutes. Just sayin’.

Astro Joe

January 2nd, 2013
12:02 pm

Brazilian_Hawk, no I have never been an NBA rookie. I just don’t understand what Jenkins is talking about.

Player development means watching a player struggle over some period of time before he “gets it”. player development does NOT mean using the off-the-court processes to help the player contribute once he makes it to the court. Fans don’t want to see a guy sit on the bench for a few weeks and then contribute. We want to see him suck, struggle and look like a load fo crap BEFORE he looks like a bonafide NBA talent. LD is such an idiot for doing things the wrong way and denying us the chance to look at Jenkins suck wind on the court. How is building a player’s comfort level related to player development????

BIG, FAT liar!

2 FOR JOHN DREW

January 2nd, 2013
12:26 pm

C’mon Astro Joe …. Give the rookie a break ….. How you gonna just call the man out like that ….. ” A BIG, FAT LIAR ” ….. He’s not only trying to fit in trying to get his pro basketball career started, the young lad has to learn to say the PC things when a reporter’s mike is in his face. I don’t see where he said anything so wrong …. to warrant that kinda response ….. Maybe that’s just some New Year’s libation talking ….. it ain’t that serious man .

Astro Joe

January 2nd, 2013
12:31 pm

2 for John Drew, can’t truss him. That’s all I am saying. He is obviously a BIG, FAT liar. A politician. A man of little integrity. A self-serving jump-shooter.

Suggesting that practice and film study has helped him become more comfortable to play the pro game.

Bah humbug!

Grimey

January 2nd, 2013
12:36 pm

When devin harris comes back please have him at sixth man and have him come in with jenkins. Teague and Lou dont like to pass to jenkins

Duluth Joe

January 2nd, 2013
12:37 pm

Hawks got outrebounded again! 47 to 39 rebounding edge for New Orleans.
At some point our guards are going to have to do a better rebounding job to help the bigs.

At the current rate, Josh and Al can’t have off nights rebounding(like Al did last night with three rebounds), or we lose the rebounding battle every night. That lets these weaker teams stay with Hawks.

Lou and Korver and Teague together had 9 rebounds.
Vasquez (their point guard) had 9 by himself.

Here is an area I want to see how Jenkins performs when given chance with more minutes.

SteveW

January 2nd, 2013
12:38 pm

AJ – Did Ivan sit behind Hilton Armstrong for 1 1/2 years+? Did did Armstrong ever play over a handful of games for the Hawks? How long did Bibby play here for?

The comparison is not valid.

And I’m glad JJ is taking the path of Teague in working hard on his game until his time comes. But practice and film study only go so far, gotta do it regularly on the court. Driving in parking lots, reading a drivers manual, and watching youtube videos only take you to a point. Gotta hit the highway sometime.

SteveW

January 2nd, 2013
12:40 pm

DJ – I think starting ZaZa most games would alleviate rebounding problems. May create some other ones…

Also we sat arguably our best rebounder for unknown reasons in Ivan

SteveW

January 2nd, 2013
12:44 pm

Poor Teague went from practice and study straight to the best defensive mind in the NBA in TT in that Chicago series. And according to advanced stats, he’s was playing against the 2nd best defensive PG in the NBA in DRose. Boy, did he ever come thru! Good job Jeff

And good job Jenkins!

SteveW

January 2nd, 2013
12:53 pm

Teague was the 4th best defensive PG in advanced stats before last season. Easy to defend great when your fresh and playing limited minutes, against mostly backups.

Teagues done great. Had to fight thru established teammates wishes In jj and Josh, a coach that was struggling with his own players. But he’s fought thru it. And been able to learn behind 2 really goof PGs in Hinrich and Bibby. And I still say Bibby was the best with the rock seeing plays develop in advance better than almost anybody I’ve ever seen. His legs just gave out. What a warrior, especially with the kings. Guy was a stud

B'Red

January 2nd, 2013
12:54 pm

Glad to see the rookie get a shot, I just wonder why JT refuse to pass him the ball last night.

MsDee

January 2nd, 2013
12:56 pm

Astro Joe,

GO SIT DOWN!! AND CLOSE YO MOUTH WHILE YA AT IT!! GESH!!

vava74

January 2nd, 2013
12:57 pm

AJ,

You can’t get anything with that sarcastic rants.

JJ2 produced 30 games into the season. The game slowed down for him 30 games into the season with practice, film and a few minutes.

In my book that means that Teague was probably at the same level 30 (or close) games into his rookie season.

At least, 81 games into the season, he played 48 minutes against a pretty acceptable CLE team and scored 25+ points and dished 12 assists…

So… where the hell do you think you are still right???

And didn’t Teague, after his second season, in which he played sparingly, came out blazing averaging nearly 18ppg during the first 5 games of the CHI series? Against a TOP DEFENSE?

Teague should have gotten more minutes, much earlier, much much much earlier and maybe we could have preserved some of the assets which were jettisoned to get Hinrich (who I liked but was expensive).

2 FOR JOHN DREW

January 2nd, 2013
1:00 pm

Astro Joe ….. I totally agree w/ your position of Jenkins or any other player for that matter needs actual playing to develop ….. I just think your calling him ” A BIG, FAT LIAR ” is a bit extreme ….. seems almost like you don’t like the guy ….. or something personal …… maybe you know him ( I’m just saying )

Astro Joe

January 2nd, 2013
1:01 pm

vava, show me where I compared Jenkins’ rookie development to Teague? Because I actually believe that no two adults can be trained in identical methods. So please tell me where I made that comparison. I’ll check back every few minutes for your reply.

Astro Joe

January 2nd, 2013
1:04 pm

Steve, so if we’re going back in time… do you recall that Horford was originally comng off the bench in favor of Zaza? And it took an injury to Zaza for Horford to start? Care to rant about that old news for a while?

MsDee

January 2nd, 2013
1:05 pm

B’Red,

I dont really think Teague was refusing to pass Jenkins the ball, I just think Teague doesnt feel comfortable passing the ball where his teammates can really use it. When Horford does his pick n pop with Teague, Horford NEVER gets the ball or very seldom but when he does it with Lou, Horford can hit his mid-jumper with ease. Lou is the one who refuses to pass the ball to Jenkins. I’ve seen several times where Lou could have given Jenkins an open jumper but never looked his way. Instead created something for himself. Yes, it may have gone in BUT get Jenkins going so u BOTH can be hot for a jumper instead of only one. Teague just needs to really work on his passing skills cause he could really be getting more assists if he knew how to pass and to throw ally-oops.

vava74

January 2nd, 2013
1:19 pm

AJ,

This whole JJ2 issue about development/not being ready to contribute dates back to your assessment of the Teague’s treatment by Woody and LD.

You have always claimed that he did not play because – probably – he was not considered ready and had not shown enough development in practice, where you consider that adequate development takes place.

This has been your constant argument in spite of the fact that Teague – with all his past and current shortcomings – clearly showed that he was capable and deserving of playing, in particular in light of the turn-still D which Bibby and Jamal exhibited at the PG slot.

Don’t play the innocent virgin. This was all about your opinion on “rookie development” and conversely about Teague.

Melvin

January 2nd, 2013
1:24 pm

Astro,

You notice LD didn’t play Jenkins b/c of his improvement in pratice and film study. It was his play on the court that has LD wanting to find him more mins. Lucky for Jenkins (and Teague) a veteran player got injured or……..

Melvin

January 2nd, 2013
1:27 pm

In a perfect world, Jenkins would start and Lou would come off the bench. If Jenkins can continue to contribute valuable production in meaningful mins, then the Hawks need to trade Harris and/or Morrow for a wing player…. I would like to have Corey Brewer but he’s playing well and has an expiring contract so I doubt if Denver let him go….

O'Brien

January 2nd, 2013
1:30 pm

AJ,

do you recall that Horford was originally coming off the bench in favor of Zaza?.

In Al’s rookie year, he started 77 of the 81 games he played in. I think Zaza missed the first 4 or 5 games of the season with injuries that year, so Al started, and never looked back.

I don’t recall him coming off the bench when Zaza came back.

O'Brien

January 2nd, 2013
1:36 pm

I’m happy for the win last night, and props to LD and the Hawks. But I still don’t understand why LD can’t find consistent minutes for Ivan.

Melvin,

I dont understand why DF did not sign a legit SF in the first place (even if he was a bench player, like Pietrus).

Section 303

January 2nd, 2013
1:49 pm

I’m back!! Got back NYE from the Michigan State bowl game in Phoenix (actually, Tempe). Would highly recommend a trip out there, if you haven’t gone. Great town!

I thought the Hawks played well last night. Josh Smith was great. Again, if he is not an All Star this season, then I would like to know who is. Assuming Josh is not injured, no way he should not be playing in the mid-February classic.

cdog

January 2nd, 2013
1:51 pm

the hawks hung together against the hornets but the game vs the rockets showed their weakness. finally, larry drew is playing john jenkins.hes better than any guard he has excpt maybe jeff teague when teague stop playing stupid, he can be tough to stop on both ends.you dribble to get you or a teammate open.he dribbles entirely too much but hes playing a lot better than he did earlier especially on defense.against the hornets, the hawks got the ball inside more than ive seen them which open up their outside game.they shot layups more than before.this is basic basketball.against houston, they relied on the outside shot and fail to attack them inside. houston attacked them inside which won the game for them.they need badly, a center to go along with al hortford.if they don’t get one, they won’t get past the first round.

Section 303

January 2nd, 2013
1:52 pm

I really like Jenkins, but finding minutes for him will be tough. Who sits? It won’t be Teague, Williams, or Harris. And, if it’s not the 2nd night of a back-to-back, it won’t be Stevenson. All have played well. The most likely canidate to sit would be Morrow, but he has been productive, too. Tough to sit guys that are playing well.

Also, glad Tolliver has crept back into the rotation. That guy has too much to offer. He should not be rotting on the bench.h

High-sider

January 2nd, 2013
1:54 pm

Although he (JJ2) may not be fleet of foot, John Jenkins (JJ2) looks a heckuva lot better on the court than Austin (probably-soon-to-be-bust) Rivers. “Bust” Rivers is another overrated, over-hyped Duke alum (so far).

SteveW

January 2nd, 2013
1:59 pm

Teague – Hinrich gets hurt so he can shine

Jenkins – Morrow and Harris gets hurt so he can shine

Am I missing a point somewhere? Looks simple to me

So al only played sporadically behind ZaZa for 1 1/2 years without getting a fair shot? I didn’t think so AJ.

SteveW

January 2nd, 2013
2:01 pm

HS – I was thinking similar things about Rivers last nite. I know he’s young, but he doesn’t look good. Maybe more film and practice instead of playing will help him? Dig

Swingman912

January 2nd, 2013
2:03 pm

Actually, you never know what helps a player develop with the exception of playing time. PT always helps, but maybe looking at defenders and watching thier stance, positioning, anticipation, and even thier feet on tape could be beneficial to a “heady” (pause) player. Visualizing can help a player execute better, and improve on whatever he’s done wrong previously. I played collegiate ball and sometimes tape reveals mistakes you dont even know you’re making. Cant call the man a BIG FAT LIAR cuz he said thats what helped him. it is wat it is tho

doc

January 2nd, 2013
2:04 pm

nice to see a good guy making good in the next step up. beginning to look like jj2 belongs. oh yes, before someone speaks up and says he will still have to overcome the down days. yes( he is not a ten year vet on a vet min which we have had to endure. i for one dont expect it, nice late round pick by df who didnt pick the right guy for some. sweet sy
stroke.

here is how the onu guy he should have considered and soooo obviously superior and ready has performed:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/players/5062/gamelog;_ylt=Atngs352uQsC088T3J9wXBikvLYF

slimj beginning to see a problem with imbalance on the knicks as jr and melo become more dominsnt and others begin to be less involved. be careful woody and dont get too carried away and ride only two horses. gets you a lot in regukar season, not far on the tournament. just saying lookout slimj.

Swingman912

January 2nd, 2013
2:09 pm

Austin Rivers just was not ready for league… and until he gets a solidified position and gains cosistency at scoring, shooting or distributing, he’ll continue to be a bum

High-sider

January 2nd, 2013
2:19 pm

This (Hawks) team is currently 1.5 and 0.5 games behind the first and second place teams in the Eastern Conference (Heat and Knicks), respectively. The Knicks’ next game is against the Spurs in New York (1/3/2013) and the Hawks’ next game is against the Pistons in Detroit (1/4/2013). Is second place in the East on the horizon (for the Hawks)? Go Spurs (at least for this upcoming Thursday)? The Hawks (team is) a possible 2 seed (in the East)? Well, I’ll be…(finish the sentence yourself)!

http://www.nba.com/standings/team_record_comparison/conferenceNew_Std_Cnf.html

Melvin

January 2nd, 2013
2:19 pm

Doc,

Watch it now, Perry Jones is waiting to play on a Championship Caliber Team behind Durant, Ibaka, Perkins, Collison and Thabo…. He will get his chance, probably not this year unless they have a significant injury.

Melvin

January 2nd, 2013
2:22 pm

Doc,

On the Hawks, PJ3 could’ve play at one of the forward spots. Him or Josh could’ve played on the wing…

Astro Joe

January 2nd, 2013
2:22 pm

Here’s the thing, there are at least 13 players on a team and most head coaches only play 10 on a consistent bases. Some bloggers would LOVE to believe that he 3 who are NOT playing suck. After all, that is why they are not playing, right? My belief is that they are NBA caliber players, which is why they are on an NBA roster. As such, they are extraordinarily talented and capable of a minimum of “flashes” of brilliance based on their talent. And with the proper development, maybe they can go from an occassional flash of brilliance to a consistent contributor. But relative to their competition (other players on the team who play the same position and/or have a similar skill set), they are not as ready as the other guys. So I fully believe that while JJ is playing well, is he as capable right now as Morrow, LouWill or Korver? No, I don’t. But the job of the coaching staff is to make sure that the 3 guys who are NOT playing are ready when/if they are needed. In football talk, they call it “next man up”.
If Mike Scott had a great 5-7 game stretch, folk would be asking why he wasn’t playing when Tolliver has recently gotten some playing time. They would NEVER conclude that maybe while Tolliver and others were playing, Scott was being “readied” for being the next man up. These are NBA-salaried players. They are all remarkably good at the basics of the game of basketball. They are among the very best 500 people of the millions who will aim at a rim today. It doesn’t mean they know the team’s playbook, understand defensive rotations, can “slow the game down”, know when to go over/under a screen, maintain aggressiveness, not allow 3 missed shots to affect their defense, handle the physical rigors of a grown man’s game, etc. And if the most ardent fans would be honest with themselves, most of them would admit they don’t know many of those aspects either. We know if a shot goes in or doesn’t… but the NBA game is so much more than made/missed shots.

Astro Joe

January 2nd, 2013
2:23 pm

13+ guys on a roster. By default, the 3rd string will likely ONLY get time when an injury happens to the 1st or 2nd string guys. And if the coaching staff is doing a good job (along with the GM), then when that 3rd string player is the next man up, he will contribute and the team will win. I think that is the whole point.

Truth be told, my rant for the past few years is less about Teague and Jenkins and more about bloggers who simply can’t admit that even while they are more knowledgeable than the average fan, their ability to evaluate a player’s individual readiness vs. the team’s managaement staff is extremely lacking. Player development success should be defined by a PG who is able to be productive when forced into duty against an MVP at the same position. It should be defined as a rookie SG who is able to produce when forced into duty ~30 gamesinto the season. It should NOT be defined as the consistent allocation of minutes regardless of the player’s readiness to contribute on a consistent basis.

High-sider

January 2nd, 2013
2:25 pm

I hear ya, SteveW and Swingman912.

Astro Joe

January 2nd, 2013
2:26 pm

Melvin, you mean that he is being developed to step-up when called upon? OMG!

BTW, vava, take a look at the 10 players chosen BEFORE Jenkins and tell me how bad those coaches are at player development… because the majority of them are getting less playing time for their teams than Jenkins… and I seriously doubt that those teams are winning 2 of every 3 games.