Atlanta Hawks Shake Slow Start To Defeat Orlando Magic

The Atlanta Hawks still appear a bit rusty after just two games of play. On Oct. 21, the Hawks, which seeks a championship run, struggled early in a game against the youthful Orlando Magic. At one point in the first half, they found themselves down by 14 points. 

“Thought we were sloppy with our execution,” coach Nate McMillan said following the game. “Seventeen turnovers, we normally do a better job of taking care of the ball. We really struggled to get a rhythm, offensively. And I thought our turnovers kept them in the game. And basically by playing at their tempo on defense.”

The Hawks would eventually turn things around in the second half as the team’s “big three” would wake up offensively. Trae Young (25); John Collins (23); and Dejounte Murray (20) all scored over 20 points for the second game in a row. 

But it was the team’s defense that would lead the way. The Hawks currently have the No. 1 rated defense in the NBA after two games. 

“We stayed with it though and our defense showed up in the fourth quarter holding them to 17 points,” McMillan said. “It was enough to allow our offense to be able to put some points on the board. But, you know, it was a dogfight and you know, I’m happy that I guys stayed with it. You know, they struggled to make shots all night long. You can see that they didn’t have a rhythm. I thought Orlando did a good job of being aggressive attacking offensively. Defensively, they were pretty physical. They’re long and big. And you know, we struggled for three quarters.” 

Young, who has struggled to find an offensive rhythm, shared that it usually takes him one shot to get back on track. 

“For me, all it takes is one shot to go in to hit a couple more,” Young said post game. “I just needed one and I was able to string together a couple. I was still off a little bit that second half, but I’m glad we’re able to learn off these wins.”

The Hawks will face-off against the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday. 

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