Hawks cruise past Pistons

Hawks forward John Collins dunks over Pistons forward Kelly Olynyk during the second half of the Hawks' win over the Pistons Monday at State Farm Arena. (AP Photo/Hakim Wright Sr.)

Credit: AP Photo/Hakim Wright Sr.

Credit: AP Photo/Hakim Wright Sr.

Hawks forward John Collins dunks over Pistons forward Kelly Olynyk during the second half of the Hawks' win over the Pistons Monday at State Farm Arena. (AP Photo/Hakim Wright Sr.)

With a strong second half, the Hawks (2-1) cruised to a 122-104 win over the Pistons (0-3) Monday at State Farm Arena.

Next up, the Hawks will begin a three-game road trip, playing in New Orleans Wednesday, in Washington Thursday and in Philadelphia Saturday.

Below are some takeaways from the win:

1. In the end, Detroit couldn’t hang with Atlanta even with the Hawks playing an ugly first half, and is still looking for its first win of the season. Missing Jerami Grant (left elbow infection) and Cade Cunningham (right ankle sprain), the Pistons still managed to whittle it down to a seven-point game in the third quarter until the Hawks pulled it together and started raining 3′s, with triples by Cam Reddish, Lou Williams and Gorgui Dieng, plus a layup by Trae Young, making it a 16-point game. The Hawks had 10 assists in the third quarter alone (finishing with 24 total) and pulled away, leading by 16 going into the fourth quarter.

2. John Collins had two crazy dunks and a solid game to go with them, despite getting in some early foul trouble. First came had an energetic slam off a Reddish assist at the 9:10 mark in the fourth, putting the Hawks up by 22 and effectively sealing the win, then came another monster dunk late in the third quarter, this one on Kelly Olynyk (Kevin Huerter with the assist). Collins finished with 22 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals. In his 242nd game, Collins surpassed the 4,000-point mark for his career and is the Hawks’ all-time leader in field-goal percentage (56.7%). “It feels like he has one every game now, so to us it’s nothing new,” Huerter said of Collins’ dunks. “I said it after the game, it feels like every new one is better than the last one he had. Kind of what we’ve come to expect from him.” Huerter started in De’Andre Hunter’s stead (non-COVID illness).

3. Trae Young had success with his floater and put together a strong performance, with 32 points (13-21 FG, 2-5 from 3-point range, 4-4 FT), nine assists, four rebounds, a steal and just two turnovers in 32 minutes.

4. Through the first few games of the season, Cam Reddish is off to a hot start from 3-point range. That’s a good sign, as Reddish has been an inconsistent shooter his first few seasons, with injuries likely playing a part in that. Monday, he went 5-for-14 from the field but 3-for-7 from beyond the arc, and is shooting 66.7% from 3 to start the season, though obviously that’s a small sample size. Reddish finished with 17 points, three steals and four rebounds in 27 minutes.

5. Lou Williams got his first playing time of the season, finishing with nine points and two assists in 17 minutes. On an incredibly deep team, minutes for Williams have been hard to come by, but McMillan said he had planned on giving him some playing time Monday regardless of any kind of injury situation and liked what he saw: “At times I will switch the rotation and go with Lou as that backup point guard to Trae, because I think he settles us down and I like the pace we play at when he’s out there playing.”

Stat of the game: 33-25 (what the Hawks won the third quarter by as they pulled away for good)

Star of the game: Collins (had two huge dunks to pump energy into the Hawks and seal the win, finishing with 22 points and seven rebounds)

Quotable: “I’m amazed, too.” (McMillan on Collins’ athleticism with his dunks)

About the Author