The Atlanta Hawks opened their season firing on all cylinders against a weary Pistons team coming off a hard fought victory a night earlier. Although for the first half Detroit more than kept up with the young Hawks, leading 63-60 going into the break.
In the opening half it was the Trae Young vs. Derrick Rose show. Young scored 26 points from literally all over the court, and Rose scored 15 on 7-of-8 shooting, getting into the lane at will and also making a living with his effortless mid-range game. Andre Drummond’s first half was a good one as well, displaying an improved touch around the rim and his usual quick hands with a few pickpockets of Hawks.
Detroit shot 53% in half number one while Atlanta shot 52%. The frenetic high scoring pace favored the well rested Hawks and you knew Detroit wasn’t likely to keep it up.
Detroit could barely put the ball in the hoop in the second half, as it was all Atlanta all the time. They wore down the Pistons iso-heavy attack, and even when the Pistons moved the ball for perimeter shots, the Hawks were serious with their contests. The Hawks also did a fine job on the glass, not allowing Detroit to get easy put-backs.
Drummond never got anything going in the second half. He part disappeared and part was frozen out by his teammates. Give the Hawks some of the credit — they goaded Detroit into lazy and selfish one-on-one play and rushed jump shots. Detroit spent a ton of energy last night in Indiana and it was evident as the Hawk’s ramped up their defensive intensity.
Reggie Jackson followed up a flat game one with another flat performance. He left the game in the third quarter shortly after coming up lame after a dunk. There’s certainly good basketball in Reggie to come, but right now he’s either overthinking too much or perhaps he’s worried that Rose will take over his starting spot, or even worse yet, be the closer for this team at point guard.
Tim Frazier made a lengthier appearance than he did against Indiana, giving the team a brief lift in the second half by hitting a couple jump shots and pressuring on defense. But ultimately Tim was overmatched against the bigger Hawks guards. And by the time Rose was ready to reenter for the stretch run, any kind of team rhythm was long gone.
Markieff Morris’ shot looks flat as a pancake in the first two games — he finished 3-of-11 for the second night in a row. With Blake Griffin out for at least another handful of games, Markieff needs to find his happy stroke.
In all, the Hawks were much more than just the 38-point, nine assist, and seven rebound Trae Young show. But hey, while I’m at it, here’s part of the show:
Trae Young pulling up from Ann Arbor pic.twitter.com/QNCqrSgJFm— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisKirschner) October 24, 2019
John Collins scored 18 points on a variety of looks and grabbed 11 rebounds, showing why he’s one of the better power forwards in basketball.
Jabari Parker was a man among boys in the third quarter and finished with 18 points on just 11 shots, including three spirited dunks.
Hawk’s rookies DeAndre Hunter and Bruno Fernando had good, efficient debuts.
The 1-1 Detroit Pistons host Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday.