Atlanta Hawks star gets honest about challenging season

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

Back-to-back wins have to feel good, especially for an Atlanta Hawks (21-22) squad that has dealt with a season’s worth of turmoil in the last few weeks. The Hawks have been a mainstay in trade chatter even before this year thanks to John Collins – who may see a resolution to his situation sooner rather than later.

But this season has introduced speculation that even Trae Young may soon seek a change of scenery if the Hawks don’t look for one first.

As far off as that would even be from consideration, it is a testament to how things have gone.

That’s why this two-game win streak might mean a bit more than most for reasons beyond just giving them four wins in the last six games despite dealing with injuries. Dejounte Murray is undoubtedly keeping things in stride.

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“Head high at all times,” Murray told Bally Sports sideline reporter Lauren Jbara after the 114-103 victory which snapped a three-game losing streak at Scotiabank Arena. “It’s a long season, it’s a long journey, it’s going to be a lot of ups and downs, and it’s always good to learn from wins.”

The Hawks are 4-3 in January but they have dropped several contests that came down to the wire along the way.

There was the double overtime loss to the Golden State Warriors that kicked off a road trip which they emerged from having gone 2-2 despite all the noise surrounding them. Three of those games have been decided by one possession with the Hawks going 2-1.

On the year, they are 10-11 in “clutch” games – that is within five points in the final five minutes.

They did not leave this game up to chance in any way, though, jumping on the Raptors 18-2 before Toronto could score another point and never once falling behind.

“We was just playing together, helping each other, and just staying consistent for 48 minutes,” Murray said after logging 10 of his 27 points in the first quarter adding eight rebounds, six assists, and two steals by the time the game was over. “I think we did that and we got a great win.”

This was Murray’s first outing with at least 20 points since the Hawks’ 120-117 win over the Sacramento Kings on January 4 – a span of six games. Far from what the Hawks or Murray have come to expect this season.

It was also just the second time the Hawks have won back-to-back road games this season.

“Just trying to find the rhythm of things,” Murray said. “I know it’s…tough as an individual trying to find a rhythm, trying to get on a consistent win streak. But one game at a time.”

Murray said this was a “good challenge” for the Hawks saying they got a “great” win.

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He also said now they will have to prepare for Monday when they will host the Miami Heat who comes in riding a three-game winning streak and have already beaten the Hawks at State Farm Arena earlier this season.