There will be games, assuredly, when Grayson Allen has the same kind of shooting slump he had Thursday night, when he was 2 for 13.
On those nights, the Jazz hope Allen will do what he did in his Utah summer league finale: Grab rebounds, make steals and deflections, take a charge or two.
“You just have to make plays at the end,” Allen said. “It doesn’t have to be scoring the ball. Just have to try to make a play.”
Appropriately it was Allen, Utah’s first-round draft pick last month, who came away with the final defensive rebound in a 92-87 win over the Atlanta Hawks. In his second appearance in a Jazz uniform, Allen contributed heavily with nine points, six rebounds, eight assists and three steals while guarding Hawks lottery pick Trae Young for most of the night.
Young had his third straight night of frustrations, going 3 of 16 with one 3-pointer. While he managed 10 points and four other Hawks finished in double figures (led by Tyler Dorsey’s 17), they couldn’t catch up after the Jazz took a 10-point lead at halftime.
Center Tony Bradley led the Jazz with his third straight double-double, 15 points and 12 rebounds, completing what Jazz summer league coach Mike Wells called “a step forward” throughout the week. Georges Niang and Stanton Kidd also had 15 points each for Utah, with Niang sealing the result with two free throws in the final 30 seconds.
Many fans, of course, were watching Allen, who played in his second game after resting Tuesday. While the Jazz have been watching Allen’s minutes since he strained his adductor in predraft workouts, they let him play through fatigue Thursday, as well as a dust-up with Young that drew a technical.
“I love the fact that he was aggressive,” Wells said. “For him to fight through the physicality, take the challenge on the defensive end with Trae Young and some of those other guys, I think it was a real huge positive both ways.”
The Jazz finished 2-1 in Jazz summer league, which recorded a 33,884-fan attendance over the three-day schedule. The team will play at least three games in Vegas summer league starting Saturday, and will be coached by assistant Alex Jensen.