The Atlanta Hawks beat the Portland Trail Blazers at their own game. They had two players who were unstoppable with the rest of the team supporting them. However, it was not Trae Young or John Collins who dominated for the Hawks, despite both having good games.
In the first half, the Hawks rode the hot hand of Bogdan Bogdanovic who had an incredible 7-of-9 prior to halftime. This included the final shot of the half which was a beautiful corner 3-ball. He made them from all over the court in the first half.
He curled off screens to make shots, hit them from the wings and the corners, but could not buy a bucket in the second half. However, such is the depth of the Hawks squad that did not matter. The scoring load was picked up by another.
The Atlanta Hawks depth is going to be massive moving forward
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The Hawks have a massive level of depth on their bench. We all know about Lou Williams, especially in the fourth quarter. Kevin Huerter has been huge over the season, and Solomon Hill has done it all for the team.
However, the scoring leader off the bench has been Danilo Gallinari. The 6’10” power forward creates mismatches just by his size and shooting touch. He is leading the NBA in free-throw percentage so fouling him to stop him is not an option.
In the game against the Trail Blazers, Gallinari hit seven 3-point shots in the second half. The Blazers made adjustments against the starting two-guard Bogdanovic but all it did was create open looks for Gallinari. Once he sees the ball go through the hoop, he is hard to stop.
All the while, Young was penetrating the lane, creating looks for himself and also dishing it out to the open shooter, collecting 11 assists. Huerter and Williams also had five assists which showed how the Hawks are rewarding the open shooter with the hot hand.
It is going to take a huge team effort to move through the playoffs. Against the Trails Blazers, a playoff-caliber team, the Atlanta Hawks used teamwork to get the win. This keeps them ahead of the chasing pack who all want to directly qualify for the playoffs.