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Thursday, Dec 2, 2021

Hawks stop skid against Bucks, lose De'andre Hunter amidst slow start

The Atlanta Hawks put up an impressive performance against the Milwaukee Bucks, winning 100-120 against the faltering Bucks squad.

Trae Young had a tremendous game for the Hawks, posting 42 points on 16/26 from the field and 8/13 from three-point range. He also posted 10 assists and eight rebounds.

Other contributors included John Collins and Clint Capela, who had 19 and 12 points a-piece.

For the Bucks, Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo had 26 points, six assists and five rebounds despite this being his first game back from a right ankle sprain. Star player Khris Middleton was absent on the night.

Jrue Holiday chipped in with 19 points and eight assists while guard Grayson Allen was also impressive, scoring 18 points on the night.

Atlanta head coach Nate McMillan had this to say regarding Young’s performance.

“It was good to see that ball go in for us, and he came out very aggressive," McMillan told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution after the game. "He felt a rhythm and just stayed with it. I thought he established a tempo on both ends of the floor, pushing the ball offensively.”

The impressive progress of last year’s young Atlanta Hawks squad had stalled prior to the win, with the team struggling to start the season.

After 14 games this year, the Hawks still sit at 5-9, hardly the start expected of last season’s Eastern Conference finalists.

A number of reasons have contributed to the poor start. According to statmuse, the Hawks have the third-worst defense in the NBA this season, with their defensive rating at 112.4. However, this is better than last season’s defensive rating, suggesting that this is not the most important area of concern.

The offense has sputtered, with the offensive rating of the team dropping into a chasm compared to the previous season. Last year, the team averaged an offensive rating of 115.7 culminated in large part by an average of 113.7 points per game.

This year, the Hawks offensive rating has dropped to 109.7, with the points per game decreasing to 107.5. Despite this, the rating is still good enough for eighth-best in the NBA.

While the Hawks certainly performed well against the Bucks, they will need to continue this form in order to turn around their slow start to the season.

In addition to the somewhat disappointing offense, there is significant concern for forward Deandre Hunter, who picked up a wrist injury in the win. According to The Athletic, Hunter will undergo surgery in his right wrist after a tendon was injured. This will put the defensive stud on the sidelines for approximately two months.

Despite this setback, the Hawks will look to build on this performance against the Orlando Magic, who sit bottom of the Eastern Conference, with a record of 3-10.

The game will take place at the State Farm Arena today at 7:30 p.m.


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