Atlanta Hawks: 4 Takeaways from Thunder Drubbing

Russell Westbrook against the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
Russell Westbrook against the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Dennis Schröder Revenge Game

Perhaps the most notable takeaway from this one was the play of Dennis Schröder, who put on a clinic against his former team by helping to swarm Trae Young on defense and getting to the rim at will on offense. DS17 was putting up tough floaters and jumpers all over the court and drilling them quite frequently. Schröd ended the game with 18 points, 8 assists, 3 rebounds and a game-high +20 in box plus/minus. Clearly, DS17 wanted to show his old team what they were missing after trading him, but, to be fair, Schröder rarely played defense like he did while with the Hawks – especially last season. It is good to see Dennis thriving on a fairly fearsome Western Conference contender as a major participant.

Trae’s Return to Oklahoma

Though it was nice to see Schröder playing well, it would have been far better to see Ice Trae light up his home state. Instead, he had a subpar game of 9 points, 8 assists and 4 rebounds – and he only shot 26.7 percent from the field (4 of 15). The length and athleticism that the Thunder can trot out on defense is frankly absurd, and that length and activity level bothered Young all night. He also was not getting the reputation calls that, say, Westbrook was getting on his home court, and there were one or two occasions where Young was clearly fouled but no whistle was blown. Trae finished as a -17 BPM for the Hawks, the lowest number on the team, and he was getting roasted all night by Russ and Schröd. These kind of games are going to happen for our rook, but, as always, we must “keep that same energy.