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Rocky Mountain Revue, Day 1

Game 1 Hawks vs Mavericks

The first game of the Revue tipped with the Atlanta Hawks facing the Dallas Mavericks. Acie Law was a player with high expectations coming into this off season. He has a lot to prove this summer after a poor rookie season. Speaking on Law, Hawks Coach Mike Woodson said, ?He struggled last season, had some injuries and some of that might have been the coaches fault. We expect him to get his confidence up this summer and have a really good summer, he?ll be fine?.

He started the game off running the team efficiently, making crisp passes to cutters and players flailing off screens for three?s. He made a very nice bounce pass off a pick & roll to Jeremy Richardson that resulted in a layup. His scoring ability, however, left much to be desired. He struggled finishing at the basket, which was a shame because he has a very quick first step that defenders couldn?t handle, but he constantly finished short a the rim.

The second half was the same story for Law, except now he was coming up short from the perimeter, and his teammates were no longer hitting shots off his passes. Overall, he struggled in the Revue opener and played like he was lacking confidence. He finished a horrendous night hitting only 3 of 13 shots from the field, including his only three point attempt. He also had more turnovers than assists, 5 to 2.

Veteran point guard Speedy Claxton took his turn running the team had similar results. He was playing very aggressive but was somewhat indecisive when driving to the basket. On numerous occasions he was getting caught in the air with nowhere to go and no one to pass to, which led to turnovers and easy baskets off fast breaks for Mavs. Claxton was only 2 of 7 from the field, but he was able to dish out 7 assists and only turned the ball over twice, showing the veteran leadership he has developed in his seven years in the NBA.

The Mavericks' Gerald Green started off the second quarter with a bang, nailing back to back three?s, showing off his sweet shooting stroke. He was easily the best player on the court for the Mavs, finishing with a team high 20 points that came mainly from the perimeter.

Green was also apart of the play of the game that brought the crowd to its feet, but the result was a bad one for Green. He drove baseline early in the fourth quarter and pulled up for a midrange jumper, only to have it thrown back in his face by Hawks forward Kevinn Pinkney, who happened to finish with a game leading three blocks.

Shan Foster, the Mavericks second round draft pick, had a decent game, as well. He started off slow, clanking three?s off the back of the iron but got things going on a layup with 3 minutes left in the first quarter. After the layup, he continued to attack the basket and go to the free throw line, making 5 of 6 from the charity stripe. Foster finished with 11 points to go along with 2 assists and a board. Besides Green, Foster was the only Mavericks' player to have much impact on the game.

Atlanta had a few surprising performances as Jeremy Richardson was the game's leading scorer with 21 points. He showed an array of shots as he connected on long range three?s and sliced his way to the basket for layups. He also brought the fans to their feet with a couple of nice fast breaks dunks.

Another surprise for the Hawks was the hot shooting of journeyman Luke Jackson. Jackson, who has bounced around the league the last few years, finished the game with 20 points, including going an impressive 5 of 7 from beyond the arc. Jackson was also able to pull 5 boards and dish out 4 assists to go along with 2 steals. On defense, he was deflecting the ball on quite a few passes but was consistently late on closeouts to shooters on the perimeter.

Atlanta controlled the pace of the game and, as a result, easily won the game 89-74.

Game 2 Jazz vs Spurs

The second game of the day featured the Utah Jazz hosting the San Antonio Spurs. George Hill of the Spurs was looking to improve his efforts from the Vegas summer league, where he shot the ball poorly and had trouble running the Spurs' offense. The Revue has started off like a season for Hill. His shots are falling, and he is getting into the flow of the offense, which is impressive for a game that had a slow pace to it. Hill was able to get to the basket for easy buckets and work his way to the free throw line. His strong performance continued into the second half. He got the basket anytime he wanted and lived at the free throw line. He also played good defense, stopping Jazz guards from penetrating and slowing their offense. Hill finished with 21 points, 4 boards, 3 assists, and 3 steals. Most impressive for Hill might have been the shooting; he hit 6 of 14 from the field and 8 of 8 from the line, which is vastly better than the 0-10 he shot in a game in Vegas.

Morris Almond for the Jazz was expected to be one of the better scorers in the Revue. He played well in the first half, initiating his offense from the post and getting to the free throw line.

?We had a strong first half, but it got messy in the second half.?

He was the only Jazz player to reach double figures in scoring in the contest. He was curling off screens and going to the basket, rather than fading to the perimeter for outside shots like he did a year ago.

?I was trying to take what was there.?

Jazz big men Kyrylo Fessenko and Kosta Koufas each had their struggles in this outing. Fessenko, the Jazz second round pick a year ago, looked awful in this game. He was lost on offense and slow on defense. He pretty much had no impact on the game at all, which is a disappointment because of how well he played in the revue a year ago. He had 3 boards and 2 blocks, but little else although he was excellent in throwing the ball away as he ended up with 7 turnovers.

Koufos was a similar disappointment, but he was able to get his offense going a little in the second half. Koufos had 5 points and 4 boards. He seemed confused on offense, which is understandable being that he?s a rookie and the Jazz run a very complex offense.

In response to the poor performance of his squad, Jazz assistant and Revue head Coach Tyrone Corbin said, ?We would like a better effort out there?. In regards to Koufos' first experience with the Jazz, he replied ?We got a long way to go, a lot to learn, both of them (Fessenko)?.

In the end, it was the Spurs that marched to an easy victory over the Jazz with an 82-57 victory. George Hill was easily the best player on the floor for the day, handily outplaying the Jazz guards in an impressive performance.

 

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