The Hawks remain undefeated in March while under interim head coach, Nate McMillan, with a 116-90 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The thing that stood out in this game the most was definitely the Hawks’ defensive effort. The Thunder were only able to shoot 37 percent from the field, and it seemed like the Hawks were deflecting passes and forcing tough shoots the whole game. The Thunder did hit many threes tonight, but the interior defense from John Collins and Clint Capela was stellar.
There were not any eye-popping scoring numbers from the Hawks tonight, partly because Trae Young only played 25 minutes; however, Bogdan Bogdanovic put up 23 points, shooting 9-14 from the floor. Bogdanovic seemed much more comfortable in the game tonight which is a great sign for the future. There was less hesitation in his offense, and he attacked the basket without fear unlike in his first few games back from injury.
The overall offense was very balanced with 4 players scoring in double figures. The bench in this game was terrific as well with great energy from Nathan Knight, who had another monster dunk in the 4th quarter. Trae Young played an excellent game with 23 points and 9 assists in very limited minutes. This win was huge for the Hawks, who are about to embark on a grueling, 8-game, west coast road trip. The Hawks were able to rest key players like Young and Collins more tonight which is always a plus before a long road trip.
The Hawks are also looking to get Deandre Hunter back from injury within the next few days, and Kris Dunn may make his first appearance as a Hawk on this trip as well. The Hawks have a few really tough tests in front of them with teams like the Lakers, Clippers, Suns, and Nuggets, so it is vital that our players stay healthy to continue this push for the playoffs.
As of now, the Hawks are in 5th place in the Eastern Conference, and they need to keep up this great team basketball in order to keep the momentum going. The Hawks will be in action next on Saturday afternoon against Lebron and the Lakers, which will give us a good idea of how the Hawks matchup against tougher competition.