The Hawks picked up a thrilling 123-118 victory against the Miami Heat over the weekend led by their incredible rookie class.
Of course, it starts with Trae Young, who was brilliant once again scoring 24 points, adding 15 assists and 6 rebounds. The 5th overall pick continues to do things only a handful of rookies have ever done. The only other players to put up a game of 20pts/15 assists/5 rebounds in their first season are Ben Simmons, Steph Curry and Ramon Sessions.
Trae Young had 24 PTS, career-high 15 AST & 6 REB in the Hawks win.
Rookies in the last 25 years with 20 PTS/15 AST/5 REB
– Ben Simmons: 20/15/8
– Steph Curry: 24/15/6
– Ramon Sessions: 20/24/8
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) November 4, 2018
He currently leads the Hawks in both scoring and assists, and doing so at quite an efficient rate. His field-goal percentage is just a hair shy of 44% on the season and his assist-to-turnover ratio is over 2.0.
Those are kind of numbers that should relieve Hawks fans that were worried about the front office when the team traded Doncic for Young on draft night. But if that’s not enough, the other Atlanta rookies are beginning to make an impact on a nightly basis.
The 30th overall selection, Omari Spellman, has slid into the starting lineup for the time being with John Collins out. The 21-year old out of Villanova scored 7 points in the win on 3 of 4 shooting, including 1 for 1 from behind the arc. Spellman’s never going to be a prolific scorer in the NBA, but that’s not why he was drafted. His defensive versatility and rebounding comes first with his shooting ability being the icing on the cake. He’s picked up right where he left off in college too, shooting 45.5% from the field and 42.1% from the three-point line. Pretty good for a 6’9″, 250-pound rook.
Finally, there is Kevin Huerter, the 19th pick in last year’s draft. It has taken Huerter a little longer to get acclimated because he missed Summer League with an injury. However, it looks like he’s beginning to find his feet at the NBA level. The 20-year old played in 29 minutes versus the Heat, the most he has played this season by far, and recorded 12 points on 5 of 9 shooting with three assists. This coming just two games after he lit the Cavs up for a career-high 13 points in just 15 minutes.
Shooting has become the name of the game in the NBA. If you don’t have it, you’re not going to win. Nobody knows that better than Travis Schlenk and he has begun to implement this brand of basketball in Atlanta. Take a look at the shooting stats for each of the Hawks rookies this year:
- Trae Young- 19.1 points on 43.8% from the field and 32.1% from 3-pt range
- Kevin Huerter- 5.7 points on 46.2% from the field and 45.8% from 3-pt range
- Omari Spellman- 6.6 points on 45.5% from the field and 42.1% from 3-pt range
Only 9 games into the season, I would say it’s already starting to look pretty successful.