A few takeaways from last night’s contest between the Atlanta Hawks and New Orleans Pelicans.
For the final team this season, the Atlanta Hawks duked it out against the Jrue Holiday-less, Anthony Davis-less New Orleans Pelicans. As expected, without those two cornerstones (only one of which is likely to return next year), the Pels did not have the requisite talent to defeat the Hawks.
The Pelicans made it interesting down the end of this contest after Atlanta squandered a massive 21-point lead in the 3rd quarter, allowing the Pels to bring it all the way to only being down 6 points with 39.6 seconds left in the game. However, Trae Young got fouled and drilled 2 free throws, giving the Hawks an eight-point cushion that they would not give up.
Let’s take a look at a few takeaways from this one:
Trae Young’s Brilliance Continues
Trae Young was the unabashed star of this game, and he played that way too. Young finished with a stupendous line of 33 points and 12 assists with a +10 on/off rating and only one turnover. Trae dominated a lax Pelicans defense, and that 30/10 game means Trae breaks a tie with Michael Jordan and Stephen Curry for the second-most 30-point and 10-assist games for a rookie in NBA history with 6 – only Oscar Robertson has more. Just look at this pearler of a pass from Trae (made left-handed no less):
John Collins Foul Trouble
John Collins is one of the most important players on the Atlanta Hawks roster. In this game, he notched 12 points and 7 rebounds in 19 minutes, but he fouled out and was a -4 in on/off rating during that time. When JC fouled out, he was visibly upset and stormed off the court directly to the locker room. It looked as if he was going to shred his jersey, but instead he sullenly exited the court. If he truly wants to be a linchpin for this Hawks team, JC will have to curtail his fouling so that he can actually stay on the court.
Hawks Depth Led to Win
Every active player on the Atlanta Hawks roster played at least 5 minutes in this game, and everyone (except for rookie Jaylen Adams) scored at least 2 points. Even Deyonta Davis, who was signed to a 10-Day contract, notched 2 points via free throws. Davis looked quite good, in fact, so let’s hope he gets another 10-day soon.
Bembry = Difference Maker
DeAndre’ Bembry had one of his best games of the season as his offensive activity and relentless, ball-hawking defense was too much for a checked-out Pels team. Bembry finished with 18 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 assists and a game-high +22 on/off rating.
The Atlanta Hawks play next on Friday at 7:30 p.m. EST against the Portland Trail Blazers.