Hawks

Familiar failures cost Hawks on MLK day

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In front of a substantial crowd at State Farm arena on MLK Day, the Hawks could not overcome their primary deficiency against the Orlando Magic.

Atlanta allowed 122 points on 50.5% shooting from the field to a team that came into the game ranked 27th in scoring at 103.9 points per contest. Nikola Vucevic led the way for the Magic with 29 points and 11 rebounds. Fournier also scored 29 points and Terrence Ross chipped in 16 points off the bench, trouncing the Hawks 122-103.

For Atlanta, Dewayne Dedmon was the leading scorer behind a magnificent showing from behind the arc. He scored 24 points while making five of his seven three-point tries. His rise in production makes him an intriguing candidate as the trade deadline approaches. He’s on an expiring contract and is a reliable presence on both sides of the ball from the center position, something that is not taken for granted once the playoffs arrive.

John Collins added another double-double scoring 14 points and collecting 10 rebounds, while Jeremy Lin was the only noticeable contributor coming off the bench, pitching in 15 points. The rest of the second unit combined had nine points.

Another appealing storyline to this game was the battle between two of the top picks in the 2018 draft. The Hawks famously moved back in the draft to select Trae Young. While his shot has been inconsistent so far, he’s been a bright spot on the roster because of his playmaking ability. Mo Bamba was picked right after Young with the number six overall selection. Bamba has not yet had the opportunity to shine as a starter with Vucevic on the roster, but in a reserve role, he’s come to Orlando as advertised.

Both of these players have bright futures, but Young had the more impressive stat line in this one. He finished with 21 points and 6 assists on 8-13 shooting. Bamba was a perfect 3-3 from the field and had 8 points in 13 minutes as a part of Orlando’s second unit.

In his fourth game back after missing over a month with an ankle injury, Taurean Prince returned to the starting lineup. He’s still not playing a full load but contributed nine points in 25 minutes.

Kevin Huerter was a late scratch due to a sore neck. However, when he returns, you can expect the Hawks starting lineup to look like this: Young/Huerter/Prince/Collins/ Dedmon. There is still no set timetable for Kent Bazemore to return, but with the additions of him and Huerter, Atlanta will finally have their full rendition of players healthy for the first time all season, providing no one else is injured in the meantime.

The loss was the Hawks’ second in a row and pushes their record to 14-32 on the season and 8-13 at State Farm Arena. Atlanta heads to Chicago to play the Bulls next on Wednesday.

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