Survive and advance is the mentality for the Hawks right now as they look to make it out of the play-in tournament and face the top-seeded Miami Heat. Wednesday night, they did more than just survive. Atlanta demolished the Charlotte Hornets 103-132, and there’s a lot to take away from the pivotal victory.
The Supporting Cast is in Top Shape
Trae Young shot 33%. On most nights, that would spell disaster for this team. However, even during Trae’s tumultuous first half, the Hawks built an eight-point lead. Everyone else on the team picked up the urgency and pace, leading to the the Hornets’ funeral. Clint Capela, De’Andre Hunter, and Danilo Gallinari all scored over 15 points. Capela did what he’s done all season, scooping up rebounds on both ends of the floor. He finished with 15 points, 17 boards, and a team-best +28 plus/minus when he was on the court. Couple that with solid performances from Huerter and Bogdanovic, and this squad looks to be a tough out in the postseason yet again.
These types of all-around team wins are what you love to see this time of year. Like they showed in the playoffs last season, multiple players can step up on any given night. They needed to yesterday, especially in the first half, and they did so in style .
De’Andre Hunter is Back
De’Andre Hunter has been a promising talent for Atlanta ever since he was drafted, but injuries and slumps have prevented him from becoming the player many thought he would be at this point in his career. At his ceiling, he’s a menace on defense and a weapon on offense, which he showcased against Charlotte. Hunter scored 22 points, 16 of which came during the Hawks third quarter barrage. If that’s the De’Andre Hunter the Hawks get on Friday, the Cavs are in for a rude awakening.
The Blowout was Important
Of course, everyone loves when their team absolutely annihilates another team. But in many ways, the margin of victory is important for Atlanta. The play-in tournament means the Hawks only have one day before facing the Cavaliers (in Cleveland). Fortunately, the 29-point victory means more rest. It’s a small detail, but one that could make all the difference as the Hawks play the Cavs on Friday night.
Photo: Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire
You must log in to post a comment.