The Atlanta Hawks will head their separate ways in order to rest before the start of training camp, but that farewell will have to wait after winning their second game of the summer on Wednesday night, 107-101, over the Indiana Pacers in Las Vegas.
There have been a few questions answered during the Utah Summer League and Las Vegas Summer League: Will Tyler Dorsey be prepared to take on a bigger role next season? Are the two-way contract players worth the slots they currently hold?
Answers to both of those questions are yes, if the play of Dorsey (averaged a double-double during the seven games), Jaylen Adams and Antonius Cleveland are any proof.
There were a few other questions and answers that may need some time to simmer and settle, like rookie point guard Trae Young’s play. Is he ready to be an NBA point guard and face of the franchise? Young averaged over 15 points per game in Las Vegas, highlighted by his 24-point, 7-13 three-pointer performance during the team’s 101-93 victory over Chicago on Tuesday and his five-assist fourth quarter against Indiana. Young led the NCAA in assist and turnovers in his only season in Norman, Oklahoma and he did the same for the Hawks this summer.
His 6.3 assist per game led all rookies as well but a 33 field goal percentage — he didn’t shoot better from three — isn’t what the team is looking for in a player that will most likely be a high volume shooter, rookie or not. But when the Hawks needed them most Young was able to make that happen, in particular during the past two games when he averaged 23.5 points per game (9-20 from three during those games).
Late in the fourth quarter against the Pacers a lineup led by Dorsey (24 points, eight rebounds and five assists) and Adams, along with rookie forward Omari Spellman (13 points, nine rebounds) brought the Hawks back from a 20-point third quarter deficit to a 87-87 tie with six minutes remaining in the game.
Young (23 points, eight assists) came back in the game and anchored the comeback with steady play at the point, solid free-throw shooting, and the before-mentioned five assist during the period. Young’s floater with 11 seconds remaining in the game — he came and got the ball from Dorsey with the shot clock running down — sealed the deal. All without John Collins, who averaged 24 points per game during his two games in Vegas and was pulled from competition.
The win leaves the Hawks alive in the summer league playoff standings with a matchup with two-seeded Portland on Thursday night.