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After fast start, Lamar Patterson fades in NBA Summer League with Atlanta Hawks

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Former Pitt star Lamar Patterson got off to a reasonably good start with the Atlanta Hawks in the Summer League as a rookie this season. He didn't shoot all that well and wasn't displaying the same all-around game he did with the Panthers, but overall, was still averaging 9.6 points a game while leading the Hawks in steals after the team's first three games.

As a second-round pick, he isn't guaranteed to play in the NBA this season. But for a while, he looked like a fairly safe bet to make the roster.

Patterson, however, cooled off quite a bit over his final three games with the team. Over that stretch, he averaged only 2.3 points and shot a weak 30% from the field. Patterson's defensive value also diminished as play went on. After recording seven steals in the first three games, he had only three over the last three contests. Patterson also didn't even get to the free throw line once in the last three games.

As a result, Patterson was playing less as well. After seeing about 30 minutes of action in those first three games, his minutes were cut to about 20 per contest.

Really, the quality of his play in the first half of the summer league and the second half was night and day.

Overall, I still want to believe that Patterson will stick with the team and get his shot to play in the NBA. As Peachtree Hoops points out, the team invested in him by making a trade to get him. It's really hard to make any kind of investment in a player in the second round of the draft, no matter how small, and then cut said player before he even plays a regular season game. It certainly happens, but the fact that Atlanta traded to get him in the second round means he still has a decent shot at sticking around.

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