It’s been a while, but Atlanta fans finally got their first look at Clint Capela in a Hawks uniform. The Hawks traded for the former Rockets center before last year’s trade deadline, but a foot injury, as well as the coronavirus, prevented him from ever making his debut for Atlanta last season, then a sore Achilles kept him out the first two games of this season. However, his presence in his first game for the Hawks did not disappoint.
Capela only played 20 minutes — not surprising given the long layoff — scoring seven points, but his impact was felt significantly on the defensive end, where he had two blocks and was disrupting shots all night. That’s why the Hawks acquired him, and it looks like they finally have their rim-protecting anchor that can take some pressure off the defenders on the perimeter.
Capela wasn’t the only player making his Hawks debut. Rajon Rondo also suited up in the new threads for the first time after missing the first two games due to COVID protocols, and he was electric. In just 15 minutes on the floor, he scored 12 points, going 2-3 from behind the arc, and dishing out eight assists. It’s safe to say there is no reason to worry about the backup point guard role anymore, as the Hawks just might have the best one-two punch in the league.
In his third game with his new team, Bogdan Bogdanović looked much more comfortable, making 5-7 three-pointers and finishing with 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists off the bench. Solomon Hill also chipped in 12 points on four three-pointers, and of course, Trae Young led the way with his 29 points and 6 assists. It almost seemed as if Young was quiet for most of the game, but his uncanny ability to get to the charity stripe shined bright in this one, as he finished 15-15 from the free-throw line.
The Hawks wrap up 2020 with a showdown on Wednesday against the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets have lost two in a row after looking unbeatable in their first two contests, but they should be at full strength against Atlanta, which makes for a fantastic measuring stick for the Hawks, who look like they could be a serious factor in the Eastern Conference early on.