“He had (confidence) tonight and when he has that confidence you can just see the talent oozing out of him,” teammate John Collins said. “Hopefully he keeps that confidence and keeps playing that way because the game really opens up when you have a guy like him who can slide, cut, shoot and playmake.”
3. Collins continued his impressive February on Friday, scoring 33 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. The Hawks forward got the team rolling in the first quarter, dropping in 12 of the team’s first 16 points, including two 3-pointers. Collins remains on a tear, developing into a threat not only in the paint but from beyond the arc as well. In the month of February, Collins remains one of just three players in the league to average over 20 points and shoot better than 45% from three.
“If (defenses) are going to play down the floor, (John’s) going to have to take (3-pointers),” Pierce said. “He hit the first one and everything seems like it’s wide open from there. That was really what got him going, was the ability to knock in two 3’s early, because of their defensive coverage.”
4. Coming into the game against a Nets team that features talented centers like Jarrett Allen and DeAndre Jordan, Pierce emphasized the importance of winning the rebound battle. The Hawks responded by outworking Brooklyn on the glass 52-38, including a 15-7 advantage in offensive rebounds. Particularly, Pierce pointed to the effort of the team’s wings, led by De’Andre Hunter, who snagged 10 boards in the game.
“When our wings rebound, we don’t have to find Trae and we can just break out (in transition),” Pierce said. “Doesn’t matter if it’s Kevin (Huerter), he can initiate the break, De’Andre can initiate the break, Cam can initiate the break, it just makes us faster. Tonight, we see it, De’Andre Hunter gets a double-double. That’s big for us moving forward when all of our guys are continuing to rebound the basketball.”
5. By his own standards, Young had a quiet night. The All-Star point guard scored 22 points and had 14 assists, including seven in the first quarter. Despite shooting 6-for-18 from the field, Young notched his 25th double-double of the season.
“For me to have 14 assists, I tell everybody all the time that’s my favorite stat,” Young said. “For me to get that and see everybody do well and get the win, that’s the best part.”
By the numbers
18.8 (Cam Reddish’s points-per-game average in four games against the Nets this season)
“You saw probably one of Trae’s best on-ball defensive games that he’s had.” (Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce on Trae Young’s defense)