The Atlanta Hawks got to take in some of the other action around the NBA after making preparations for their Game 2 matchup against the Boston Celtics.
One game caught Hawks star Trae Young’s attention in particular – the Los Angeles Lakers’ big Game 1 win over the hosting Memphis Grizzlies. In a game featuring LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and which saw Ja Morant exit with a serious hand injury, the biggest story of the night was arguably second-year Lakers’ guard Austin Reaves.
“Austin Reaves getting that bag this summer,” Young tweeted. “My boy cookin!!”
Reaves, who attended Young’s alma mater of Oklahoma, finished the game with 23 points, four assists, and three rebounds co-starring with former Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura who tallied 21 points and knocked down five threes off the bench.
But it’s Reaves who Young correctly noted is headed for a big payday, one which he has not been shy about discussing.
“Anybody that says we don’t play the game for money, to me, is lying,” Reaves asserted during an appearance on the ‘Point Forward Podcast’ on March 24. “Because I feel like, if you wasn’t getting paid, I don’t know if you would be here doing it. Obviously, everybody loves the game, yeah. But I want to make as much money as I can and you know be as successful as I can no matter where it’s at.”
Young also took a moment to send up positive vibes for Morant who was dejected speaking about his hand injury suffered in the fourth quarter of that loss to the Lakers.
“I’m in a good bit of pain…[It’s] tough, man, especially with everything I’ve been through pretty much this season. My main focus was to be out there for my guys. [It’s] another incident where that’s pretty much in jeopardy.”
John Collins says Atlanta Hawks were not awestruck by Celtics
Atlanta saw the deficit grow as large as 32 points against Boston in Game 1, ultimately losing by 13 points. They are trying to focus on that second-half surge and bring it into the next game, chalking up Game 1 as a one-off.
“I don’t think they were doing anything to restrict us or make us feel any more uncomfortable than normal,” John Collins told Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ahead of Game 2 on April 17. “I honestly think it was a weird day. … I think it just made it harder on us mentally. When you continue to take shots but when you’re just not making them and you’re continuing to shoot it, it just puts you in a little bit of a drag. Something that we know we can get out of but, again, something that also happens in the game of basketball.”
The Hawks have to hope Collins’ assessment is accurate.
Teams that lose Game 1 have gone on to win the series just 22.2% of the time, per Land of Basketball. However, that number drops substantially to just 7.2% for teams that fall into the dreaded 0-2 hole. Given the Hawks’ 0-3 record against Boston during the regular season, history is certainly working against them.