Hawks Notes: Trae Young, Clint Capela, Dejounte Murray, Reserves

It’s been an up-and-down season for the Hawks, one that involved reorganizing the front office and firing and then hiring a new coach in February.Clint Capela slaps hands with Trae Young

But now, it’s safe to say, the Hawks are on an upswing.

This after Tuesday’s play-in game road win over the Heat, in which Atlanta outmuscled Miami near the basket and emerged with a 116-105 win.

The Hawks own the No. 7 seed and advance to face the second-seeded Celtics in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

“That was a big emphasis tonight being more physical, and I think that’s the main thing,” guard Trae Young said, via Lauren Williams of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We’re just more physical, played faster, didn’t let them really set up on defense and get on half court. We were playing more in attack mode and transitioning and help.”

Crashing the glass has been a point of emphasis under coach Quin Snyder, especially at the offensive end — and the Hawks killed the Heat on the boards, 63-39. 

Center Clint Capela, for instance, finished with 21 rebounds, including a whopping eight at the offensive end.

“Well, we’ve got some guys, they like to do it,” Snyder said, via Williams. “Something that’s important to our team, when you have strengths that you’ve got, some guys will feel like they can do that.”

As for Capela specifically, Snyder indicated he’s not surprised by the performance.

“You can impact the game a lot of different ways,” Snyder said. “Sometimes it’s passing, sometimes it’s rebounding, screening, whatever it is, and he’s a selfless player, you know, and Clint is one of those guys you appreciate having as a teammate. And those are the things that he’s done.”

  • The Hawks’ bench is also continuing to prove to be one of the most impactful in the NBA, with small forward Saddiq Bey, power forward Onyeka Okongwu, shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic and forward Jalen Johnson all contributing mightily in the win.
  • The Hawks are now 3-0 lifetime in play-in games. “We came out and I feel like just on the plane ride here, you seen everybody locked in,” guard Dejounte Murray said, via Williams.
  • Young told reporters that the Hawks were motivated by Heat star wing Jimmy Butler guaranteeing a win earlier in the week. “We all understand the moment and the time of year it is,” Young said. “Credit our guys for being locked in, ready and focused on the game plan.”
  • The Hawks went 0-3 vs. the Celtics during the regular season. This marks Atlanta’s 13th playoff series against Boston, and the first since the Hawks’ first-round win in 2016.

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