Like the Hawks as a team, Kevin Huerter struggled out of the gate. Through his first ten games (primarily as a reserve player), he was averaging just 6.9 points on 40.3% shooting and 25.8% from three. His defense was also suffering. That’s far from the player we saw in last year’s postseason, who was arguably the second-most reliable player on the Hawks behind Trae Young. However, since Huerter has been thrust into the starting lineup because of the injury to De’Andre Hunter, he’s looked like a player deserving of the extension he received just before the start of the season.
Kevin Huerter as a starter (7 games)…
15.1 ppg, 60.0% FG, 59.3% 3pt FG, 2.7 apg, team 6-1
— Mike Conti (@MikeConti929) November 23, 2021
With so many talented players, McMillan has a challenge on his hands when it comes to the allocation of minutes, but I think it’s becoming quite evident that Huerter belongs in the starting lineup permanently. It doesn’t mean he’s a better individual player than Bogdan Bogdanovic or De’Andre Hunter, but he does play his best alongside Trae Young and company. It’s definitely something to monitor moving forward because when Hunter does return, McMillan will have to make another tough decision. Still, if Huerter keeps playing remotely like this, there’s no way he can be taken out of the starting lineup.