Atlanta Hawks: Kevin Huerter’s Game 7 performance was not a surprise

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks progressed to the Eastern Conference Finals on the back of a playoff-best 27 points from Kevin Huerter. The 6’7″ wing out of Maryland has so often been the wingman to either John Collins or Trae Young. In the seventh game, he was the main man.

Huerter is the glue guy who keeps a team going throughout the season. He simply gives the team what it needs, when it needs it. Due to this, he is always filling up the box score. He led the team in steals this season However when the team needed more rim protection against the New York Knicks, Huerter was second on the Hawks squad in blocks for the series.

When the team is healthy, Huerter is the teams’ playmaker for the second unit. However, due to injuries, Huerter has been pressed into service as a starter. He has done his best to replicate the production of De’Andre Hunter, which is what the team needed.

Kevin Huerter stepped up for the Atlanta Hawks as Bogdan Bogdanovic went down.

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While Bogdan Bogdanovic only missed the second half of the sixth game in the series, he was not himself in the seventh game. Both Bogdanovic and Huerter had poor outings in the fifth game of the series, but Huerter bounced back in the sixth. He collected a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Then there was the explosion in the seventh game, where Young was shooting poorly and the team needed someone to produce. He also had seven rebounds, three assists, and a steal which simply highlights how valuable he is to the team.

Huerter came into the league almost NBA-ready. He has averaged 11.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.0 steals, and 0.4 blocks in 29.7 minutes per game. His averages have never really varied much because he has always put his numbers second, and the team first.

This season alone, Huerter has had three double-doubles, and the beauty of them was that two of them were with points and rebounds, and the other was with points and assists. His adaptability is one of Huerter’s greatest assets.

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He worked hard on his game with Vince Carter prior to his retirement. On top of that, he has been used in almost every scenario for the Hawks this season. This has prepared him well for the top shelf performance which put the Hawks through to the Eastern Conference Finals