The Washington Wizards beat the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday night in the Las Vegas Summer League. Here are five observations from the game...
1. It appears that Rui Hachimura is getting the hang of things. After mixed results in his first two Summer League games, he was unstoppable in his third.
Hachimura carved up the Atlanta Hawks for 25 points, nine rebounds and two blocks. He shot 9-for-12 and knocked down 2-of-3 from three.
Once he found a rhythm on offense, his versatility shined through. He beat opponents off the dribble, including on a play where he muscled through contact from a bruising Bruno Fernando for an and-1. Hachimura also made a series of midrange shots and one of his threes was on a hesitation pull-up. He scored in all three phases.
Hachimura's defense also continues to impress. In addition to his two rejections, he forced a turnover by trapping on the baseline. He also caused some misses with timely contests.
Hachimura has the physical traits to be a good defender and so far is showing some impressive instincts.
RUI AND-1! pic.twitter.com/Yb0oSN5ddY— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) July 11, 2019
2. Garrison Mathews is a name few Wizards fans likely know at this point. He is on a two-way contract and played at Lipscomb, a little-known college in Tennessee that has never produced an NBA player before.
Mathews, though, has a chance to impact the Wizards this season and the reason why is his shooting. That skill was on full display against the Hawks.
Mathews scored 11 points and sank three threes. It wasn't just the shots going in, it was the way he shot them. Mathews has a gift for catch-and-shoot plays. He can come off screens and fire it away quickly. He can catch bad passes and still level himself in the air if his feet aren't set.
That is a skill that few young players have. It is the type of thing that Kyle Korver and J.J. Redick have made careers out of.
3. Moe Wagner is also billed as a shooter, but his shots haven't been falling in Las Vegas. He struggled with his shot again, going 1-for-4 from the field and 0-for-1 from three. Wagner is now shooting just 32 percent (8-for-25) in the Summer League.
Wagner's greatest value is outside shooting, so when his threes aren't going in, the other shortcomings in his game become more apparent. At this point, he can't make up for it with his defense, passing or rebounding.
4. Issuf Sanon is also having a rough time in Vegas. He shot 1-for-4 against Atlanta with four points.
Sanon has some moments on defense, but doesn't seem to have much developed skill on offense. He commits careless turnovers and lacks confidence with his shot.
Sanon's Summer League may be over already. Wizards interim president Tommy Sheppard said on the ESPN2 broadcast Sanon is heading to join the Ukraine U-20 national team on Friday.
If that is the case, it's unclear when we will see Sanon with the Wizards again. At 19 years old, he does not look ready to join the NBA team in the fall.
5. The Wizards were without Troy Brown Jr., arguably the best player on their Summer League team, as he continues to deal with a left knee contusion. Brown suffered the injury in the first quarter of the team's loss to the Clippers on Tuesday night.
Brown could be done for the rest of the Summer League. The team only has one more game and it is a consolation match-up.
Brown already showed plenty in his two-plus games in Las Vegas. He was borderline dominant, including a game with 18 points and 15 rebounds against the Pelicans.
The Hawks were also missing some key players on Thursday. Both of their top draft picks - De'Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish - didn't play.
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