Heading into the weekend, there was some cause for concern for a Hawks team that was missing a ton of bodies and approaching a back-to-back. Skal Labissiere and Clint Capela are still yet to debut as Hawks, and De’Andre Bembry and Dewayne Dedmon we’re unavailable as well. Coach Lloyd Pierce mentioned that Kevin Huerter was dealing with a groin injury, and Trae Young has been sick the entire week. But the way the Hawks played this weekend, you never would have known it.
After dropping 141 on Friday evening on the Brooklyn Nets, the Hawks went on another onslaught against the Portland Trail Blazers. Atlanta got off to a slow start, scoring just 23 in the first quarter. However, they went on to tally 106 points in the final three quarters in a string offensive effort.
The ball movement has looked fantastic, and Trae Young’s 15 assists certainly helped on that front. Trevor Ariza did not like Young’s what should have been successful nutmeg, and things even got a bit chilly in the third quarter. John Collins gave you his nightly double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds, as he continues to excel from beyond the arc. Speaking of guys who have been hot from deep, De’Andre Hunter deserves the game ball. A night after fellow rookie Cam Reddish exploded, Hunter decided it was his turn. He shot 6-of-9 from three and scored 22 points.
The Hawks took the lead back from the Blazers around halfway through the second quarter and remained in control the rest of the way. They have now won 8 of their last 10 at home and seem to be developing a home-court advantage of sorts heading into what is supposed to be a much more competitive 2020-21 team.