The Atlanta Hawks got a big 127-110 win on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday, their first victory of the season. It came as the result of a team effort, too, with eight players reaching double-digits in scoring.
“I thought we executed tonight, and that’s always something that’s really good to be able to say,” head coach Quin Snyder said after the game via the team. “Those are the things that we’ve been working on. We talked a lot about trying to develop an identity as a team, and I think … our focus was on those things. It’s good to see, and it’s good to be rewarded for that execution.”
Asked how they carry the effort – which included holding the Bucks to 45.3% from the floor and contesting everything they could – over into their next game, Snyder’s message was blunt.
“You have to do it again,” Snyder said.
Giannis Antetokounmpo got his, scoring 26 points on 64.3% shooting with 11 rebounds. But the Hawks limited Damian Lillard to six points on 2-of-12 shooting and six turnovers to his five assists, four rebounds, and two steals.
Snyder was effusive with praise for the defensive efforts of Dejounte Murray and Clint Capela.
“Sometimes guys, even great players have rough nights,” Snyder said. “I thought Dejounte did a terrific job, and I thought Clint did a terrific job. Those two guys … You can’t guard Damian Lillard with one guy. But there was a purpose with DJ. I think he was really focused.”
The 110 points allowed is a season-low and comes against what many consider to be one of the top two teams in the Eastern Conference.
Quin Snyder wants ‘multiple-effort plays’ from Hawks
“That’s what we want to do regardless of whether the ball goes in or not,” the Hawks’ head coach elaborated. “Those multiple-effort plays, that’s what it requires to get there and make those contests. To be disruptive to the extent that we can do that with discipline. Those are the things we want to do.”
It extended to their offense too.
Murray finished with 15 points on 50% shooting, five assists, two steals, and one block while Capela logged 12 points, 12 rebounds, one assist, and one block.
Snyder went on to say that both Murray and Trae Young are “extremely coachable” and noted how many different lineup combinations they can go to including deploying Capela and Onyeka Okongwu at the same time.
Coming off a 41-41 season and their second consecutive first-round playoff exit, the Hawks’ 0-2 start was a disappointment. That being said, they did a lot of good things in those games too, illustrating Snyder’s point about needing to repeat their efforts. If the Hawks can sustain the level of intensity they came out with versus the Bucks, they will be successful more nights than not.
The Hawks face the Minnesota Timberwolves (2-1) next. Minnesota is coming off a 106-90 victory over the Miami Heat on October 28.