Atlanta Hawks: Rapid Reaction to Tonight’s Loss vs. Knicks

Head Coach Lloyd Pierce of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Head Coach Lloyd Pierce of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

A rapid reaction to the Atlanta Hawks opening night blowout at the hands of the New York Knicks. These two teams are expected to be among the worst in the Eastern Conference, but the Knicks looked far from terrible on this night.

The NBA season opened with a slap in the face to Atlanta Hawks fans who patiently waited all offseason long with optimism for the future (myself included). The Hawks were absolutely dominated by the New York Knicks and former Hawk Tim Hardaway Jr. for 48 minutes in a 126-107 blowout.

This game went about as poorly as possible for the Hawks. They played zero defense, were abused on both sides of the glass, and turned the ball over at an alarming rate on the offensive side of the ball. The offense looked extremely stagnant and guys struggled to knock down open shots.

Trae Young‘s stat line won’t completely show it, but the young point guard struggled in his debut. His shot selection left a lot to be desired and he struggled to find open shots off of the ball.

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While Ice Trae didn’t have the huge debut all Hawks fans were dreaming of he did show flashes of what he can do finishing with 14 points, 5 assists, and a surprising 6 rebounds.

He actually penetrated the lane pretty well and got some good looks at floaters that I believe will start to fall as he gets more comfortable. The assist number is not an accurate representation of how many open shots he set up, as there were a lot of missed open shots by Hawks players. There are better days to come for Trae Young.

Taurean Prince picked up right where he left off last season putting up 21 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists. Prince’s shooting stroke and playmaking ability looked to be in mid-season form. He showed that he is easily the best player on the floor for the Hawks at all times.

Vince Carter played very well in his debut as an Atlanta Hawk scoring 12 points. Kent Bazemore played efficiently on the offensive end with 14 points on 6 of 12 shooting and also brought a ton of energy on the defensive side of the ball. Alex Poythress was a bright spot for team and looks like he will have a spot in the rotation — perhaps outplaying his two-way moniker as the season progresses.

Omari Spellman didn’t see much time at all, but took full advantage of the time he did get. Spellman was electric off the bench putting up 7 points and 3 rebounds on 3 of 4 shooting in only eight minutes. He should have earned himself plenty more minutes as the team moves forward.

The Atlanta Hawks were plagued by a lack of rebounding, a lack of defense, and a glut of fouls on opening night. John Collins and Dewayne Dedmon were sorely missed and can not come back soon enough. Alex Len looked good early on, but was in foul trouble all night long so we didn’t get to see much of what he can do.

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While it is hard to pull positives from a 19-point opening night loss, there are still a lot of things to be excited about as this season moves forward. This team came out with a ton of energy and looked good at some points throughout the night, but fell victim to an extremely hot Tim Hardaway Jr. (which Hawks fans are familiar with seeing). It is a long NBA season and there is plenty of time for this team to surprise some people.