The noise surrounding the Atlanta Hawks outside the locker room and the basketball court continues to grow. Even though the team announced Kyle Korver will become the assistant general manager and many reports suggest the team is facing a tumultuous time ahead, the Hawks are beginning to find their chemistry. After the 121-113 victory over the Miami Heat, Hawks Head Coach Nate McMillan emphasized that the Heat bring an intensity that will force the Hawks to adapt quickly. The Hawks instead decided to attack the painted area.
“And I think that just puts you into a rhythm where now it opens up the perimeter for you to take those shots,” McMillan said. “DJ and Trae and DeAndre, all three of those guys have been doing a really good job of attacking the rim, and forcing the defense to collapse. Tonight we had 22 free throws.”
The Hawks have won their third straight game. Dejounte Murray scored 28 points and added 7 assists. Trae Young had 24 points and 8 assists. With the victory, the Hawks have moved to .500.
Clint Capela returned to the floor for the first time after a calf injury sidelined him for ten games. Capela had 12 points and six rebounds in 20 minutes.
“To have him back, to have both he and Onyeka [Okongwu] out there, we know that we have coverage at the rim that can defend and rebound the basketball,” McMillan added. “So it was good to see him on the floor. Of course, his minutes were restricted. And think I kept them about where we wanted him to be. But it’s just good to have him back on the floor.”
Jimmy Butler led Miami, and all scorers, with 34 points. Even though Miami out-scored Atlanta 63-51 in the second half, the Hawks’s impressive ball movement, spacing, and 70-point first half proved to be the difference.
“Tale of two halves,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, who said the “stark difference” in his team’s defensive effort “was born out of them blowing the doors off us in the first half.”
The Hawks are headed to Dallas to take on Luka Dončić and the Mavericks at 8:00PM Eastern Wednesday night.
“We won three games versus three good teams,” Murray said. “And for us, we just got to be consistent. I think that’s the main thing for the rest of the year, just being consistent. And trying to do whatever it takes to win. For me, I’m just playing confident and trying to find a rhythm trying to find my role. At the end of the day, we’re gonna figure it out.”
When he was told the Hawks have a top-five backcourt in the NBA, Murray said, “it’s time to prove it.”