The Atlanta Hawks Through the First Three Weeks

State Farm Arena, home of the Atlanta Hawks. Photo by Erik Gonzalez on

October 19 – October 26 [v Houston, v Orlando, v Charlotte]

The Atlanta Hawks tipped off their season against the Houston Rockets. This was Dejounte Murray’s debut in Atlanta. He along with Trae Young led the team in minutes with 38 played. In Murray’s debut, he earned a double-double with 20 points and 11 assists. The Hawks took charge in the second quarter and never looked back, as the last time the Rockets held the lead was with 7:01 left in the first half. The game ended with Young at the line with 20.2 seconds left on the clock as he made both free throws. Fitting for the game to end with Young getting serenaded with MVP chants even if it is only the first game.

In the Hawks’ second outing, they faced the Orlando Magic (0-1). Young was held scoreless in the first half only for him to turn it on in the second half putting up 25 points.  Young was spreading the ball around while scoring efficiently on his way to earning a double-double with 13 assists. John Collins also received a double-double for his 23 points and 13 rebounds, proving to be a powerful presence on the boards and a formidable offensive weapon. The Hawks and Magic went back and forth until the fourth quarter when Atlanta ran away with the game finishing at 108-98 Atlanta. 

The Hawks were handed their first loss of the season by the Charlotte Hornets (0-2), with Charlotte’s LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier watching from the bench recovering from injuries. The Hornets took the lead early in the second that ultimately grew upwards of 20 points entering the fourth quarter, and the Hawks were unable to bring the lead back within single digits. 

October 26-31 [@Detroit, @Detroit, @Milwaukee, @ Toronto]

 The Hawks won both road games in Detroit; Young was the leading scorer in both games with 35 points on the 26th and 36 points on the 28th. This was a story of two games as the first matchup was neck and neck until the final minute when the Hawks pulled forward with a three-possession lead. The second matchup on the other hand was a tale of two halves. The Pistons managed to keep pace with the Hawks for the first two quarters however, in the third the Hawks took a 10-point lead. The Pistons’ offense stalled out in production and their defense got sloppier giving the Hawks a total of five trips to the free-throw line while the deficit grew. The Hawks would win by a total of 24 points in a 136-112 blowout.

The Hawks lost to the only undefeated team in the NBA through the first eight games: the Milwaukee Bucks. Young led the scoring effort with 42 points at a rate of 46.8% from the floor. However, the Bucks led by Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holliday, who combined for a total of 68 points were too much for the Hawks to handle. The lack of offensive production is glaring as Murray followed Young as the second-highest scorer with 21 points and no one else on the team scored more than 15 points.

The Hawks game on Halloween in Toronto was one fit for the holiday. As the Hawks continued to match the pace of the Raptors, shooting just under 38% from the three-point line, the Raptors stayed ahead running unphased akin to a Jason Vorhees or Michael Myers. The fourth quarter came, and the Raptors looked as fresh as ever, expanding its seven-point lead to a 30-point lead to finish the game.