The Atlanta Hawks kicked off the new season with a placid win over the Mavericks. Nate McMillan’s team took the game, the first of both franchises this season, by a more than forceful 113-87, with which they showed they were willing to convince even the most skeptical that their presence in the past Eastern Finals it was no accident.
The locals were especially dominant in the second half, in which they worked wonderfully on both sides of the court and seemed a much more complete set than Dallas, which was limited to watching them come until it had to deliver the match. The Hawks, far from entrusting themselves to Trae Young, shone from their choral work and from their ability to involve all members of the team, who responded wonderfully and made it clear that the squad goes far beyond the point guard.
Up to six men finished in double digits, of which Cameron Reddish, who had 20 points in just 21 minutes, was the leading scorer. The forward, who already left flashes of a great player in the past playoffs, gave his team a huge boost from the bench, and with his usual class at the pitch he managed to punish the Texans both from the perimeter and making a hole in the paint . Young, on the other hand, was not excessively successful in the shot (6/16) and remained in 19 points, but he worked wonderfully as a generator and managed to distribute 14 assists, being the centerpiece of the great collective exercise of the Georgia team.
John Collins, with 16 points, was third in this facet, while Bogdan Bogdanovic and De’Andre Hunter finished with 11. While, Clint Capela reached 12, and signed a double-double while also achieving 13 rebounds.
Poor start of the ‘Kidd era’
Like Trae, Luka Doncic didn’t have the most inspired debut at the scorer level, but unlike this one, neither did his teammates. The Slovenian, with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists, led his team in the three main statistical sections, but with a 6/17 shooting and 5 losses, he was far from signing a great night. However, Jalen Brunson, who added 17 points from the bench, and Tim Hardaway Jr., author of 14, were his only allies, as the rest of his teammates were at a rather poor level.
Kristaps Porzingis, for example, hit 11 points after scoring just 4 of his 13 shots, while Dorian Finney-Smith was even worse on offense, making just 2 of his 12 attempts. Kidd’s Mavericks therefore started on the left foot, although they still have time to grow as a team and reach the level of collective functioning that, without going any further, the Hawks exhibited for many minutes.
(Cover photo: Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)