De’Andre Hunter has career night vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images /

The Atlanta Hawks’ two lottery picks from the 2019 NBA Draft haven’t been off to as explosive of a start as some of their rookie peers. Wednesday night, De’Andre Hunter showed he could also hoop.

The 2019 Rookie of the Year race has had several frontrunners, despite being just four weeks into the season. Ja Morant has been showing out for the Memphis Grizzlies, Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro of the Miami Heat were making history as a high scoring backcourt, as well as R.J. Barrett, Eric Paschall, and Rui Hachimura all performing well for their teams.

The Hawks picked both fourth and tenth in the lottery and selected De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish. Neither one have been off to as electric of a start as some would’ve hoped. However, as of late, both have seen an uptick in production.

Reddish has scored in double figures in the last three games, notching 12 against the LA Clippers, 13 versus the Los Angeles Lakers, and a career high 17 against the Milwaukee Bucks. He’s posted points, but has struggled in other categories and with efficiency.

Hunter, on the other hand, has been packing the stat sheet with (mostly) efficient numbers lately. He set a career-high six steals last week against the Phoenix Suns. As if that wasn’t impressive enough. He had his big coming out party Wednesday night against the Bucks.

In just over 28 minutes of play, Hunter set two career highs with 27 points and 11 rebounds. It resulted in an eight-point loss, but Hunter put himself on the map.

His breakout performance came the same night that the Hawks debuted their 2019-20 City Edition jerseys. Two season ago, Atlanta donned black jerseys with a neon green font that was reminiscent of Disney’s TRON: Legacy. Last year, the Hawks wore black and white jerseys with gold lettering to celebrate their 50th anniversary. This years, however, they have a black jersey with peach highlights. It’s fitting that Hunter shows out when wearing the team’s most stylish new threads.

Hunter looked great against the Bucks, hitting shots all over the floor, attacking the rim, finishing through contact, and drawing fouls. This is what the Hawks’ scouting team saw in him pre-draft. If this kind of play continues, he could be the third piece next to Trae Young and John Collins for the Hawks’ rebuild.