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Atlanta Hawks showed resiliency once again and won their first Summer League tournament game against the Indiana Pacers, 107-101 on Wednesday night. The Hawks came back from a 27-point deficit on showing no quit and playing till the final buzzer.
As a team, the Hawks looked good but through the team work, a couple of players stood out.
This is still rebuilding process 1-A and with a combination of first year players with second and third-year veterans, hard and long games are foreseeable in the future. Yet, in their first Summer League tournament game, some promise and hope was displayed.
Trae Young has progressed during this entire process but tonight was his best showing yet. Yes, he’s coming off a 24-point effort hitting seven three-pointers helping the Hawks comeback from 19 points for the win. Against Indiana, he displayed leadership, patience, being clutch and controlled the game.
Young has showed NBA fans why the Hawks traded for him. His 23 points with eight assist and two steals looks great in the box score but the way he ended the game not forcing any shots and making the right decisions though crisp passing is what the Hawks upper management is expecting. What stood out the most is him trusting his instincts. There were opportunities for him to score but he located the open man for a better look.
If this progression continues, the future is very bright for the hawks.
The Quiet Storm
Omari Spellman also made the Hawks look good by picking him in the win over the Pacers. Spellman posted 13 points and nine rebounds plus two assist. What was impressive about him was the way he hustled, rebounded and defended although it didn’t show up in the stat sheet.
The young man from Villanova made some big baskets but his energy that helped ignite the Hawks will be key for this young team moving forward in the season and years to come. Although he’s only 20 years old, he brings championship pedigree. It was shown in the way he kept battling and not quitting being down by 27. He can also be that player that shows leadership through his play more than being vocal.
The Next Step
If it has been one bright spot besides rookie center John Collins last year, it was Tyler Dorsey. Dorsey showed flashes last year as a rookie raising eyebrows. During the Summer League, the second-year player arguably has been the best player for the Hawks.
When the rest of the team looked lost, the Greek-American was able to either keep them in games or score when Atlanta struggled to put the ball in the basket.
Dorsey’s offensive game has matured and now, he can score, whether mid-range, driving to the rim or hitting from long distance which was shown in the win Wednesday night. Dorsey’s ability to create his own shot gives Atlanta that option when the team gets stagnant and a legitimate scorer off the bench this season.
The Hawks have other bright spots like Jaylen Adams who has delivered two straight solid games off the bench. After the last two games, Atlanta should be able to build on this confidence.
It’s ridiculous to say they will be a team to beat in the regular season. If their confidence is up going into the season coupled with the veterans they already have, the rebuilding process might not be as long and painful.