The Atlanta Hawks played and won their first preseason game of the season. The game was the Hawks’ preseason debut for Dejounte Murray. Did Murray look good in this offense? How did he look in the pick-and-roll game?
The Hawks beat the Bucks,123-113 in their 2022 preseason debut. This game was a part of the NBA intentional series and was played in Abu Dhabi. Murray and Trae Young both played more minutes than I personally expected, as the Hawks two best players’ played 30+ minutes.
While they did play some minutes together, Nate McMillan did mostly play them with different lineups. I would expect this in the regular season because it allows the Hawks to have an all-star-level guard leading the offense at all times.
What should fans of the Atlanta Hawks think of this victory?
Trae Young scored 22 points. Young shot 42 percent from the floor. The Hawks’ best player was a killer inside the three-point arc, going perfect from that area of the floor. He did struggle from outside the arc, as he went 0-4 from three. It’s probably just a bad three-point shooting game but it might be worth something to watch how Young shoots from three for the rest of the preseason.
Murray had a stellar game in his preseason debut for the Hawks. He had 25 points on 69 percent shooting from the floor. He did miss all of his three-point attempts but he had a great game from within the three-point arc. Murray shot 81 percent from within the 3-point arc.
He was able to do very well in the pick-and-roll, as it seemed like he was in control of the offense when he was the leading guard.
It seems like Murray somewhat knows his way around this offense considering his ability to operate in this game. He was able to connect with John Collins for a nice slam early in the first quarter off a pick-and-roll slip motion. The Hawks’ newly acquired player was able to do this with the Hawks’ other key big man later in the game.
Off a straight pick and roll from Clint Capela, Murray was able to create the separation needed to get a clean shot off at the top of the paint. Look for these kinds of plays all season. While the Hawks did still win, the Bucks weren’t really playing their starting rotation a lot of minutes. In fact, none of their starters played above 22 minutes.
Additionally, Khris Middleton did not play as he will be out for at least a couple of games in the regular season.
Nobody in Atlanta is jumping out of their seat because of this victory.
But Hawks fans should think positively about this performance. This game gave me another reason to think Murray will flourish in the pick-and-roll game as Collins and Capela as his big men this season.
With Young or Murray controlling the ball at almost all times on offense, the Hawks have a chance to be an elite pick-and-roll offense this season.
This first preseason game was a great step into achieving that goal this season.
The Hawks have one more game in Abu Dhabi before returning back to the states to play the Cavs on the road on Wednesday. The preseason for the Hawks concludes on the 14th when they face off against the Pelicans. Atlanta does not have a home game during the entire preseason but does start off the regular season at home.