The Hawks went all-in this past offseason by trading with the Spurs for Dejounte Murray. They hoped pairing Trae Young with another All-Star in the backcourt would be enough to make them legitimate contenders. But through 52 games, the Hawks are in the exact place they found themselves in last season — battling for a spot in the play-in tournament. Health and a lack of depth have led to incredibly inconsistent tendencies, but the most dependable aspect of the team has been the Hawks newest member.
Even playing alongside Young, Murray is arguably having the best offensive season of his career. His assists numbers are down from last year, but he’s averaging a career-high 21.2 points on the most efficient shooting numbers of his career — 46.4% from the field and 37% from deep. That last part is especially eye-popping because Murray has never been considered a threat from deep. He’s primarily been a scorer that feasts around the rim and in the mid-range, but in Atlanta, he’s shooting the ball more often and at a much better clip.
During last night’s game, Murray set his career-high for most 3s made in a single season.
Murray now has 98 3s on the season through just 47 games. The Hawks have given him the freedom to let it rip, and he’s made the most of it, which has been critical to the team staying afloat.
Shooting has been one of the worst aspects of the Hawks. They are in the bottom half of the league when it comes to there three-point shooting percentage and have made the fourth-fewest 3s of any team, ahead of only the Spurs, Lakers, and Bulls. Just imagine how porous those numbers would be if Murray wasn’t having a career year behind the arc.
Photographer: Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire
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