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3 reasons that prove Trae Young, Hawks are back

Hawks, Trae Young

The Atlanta Hawks are back to their winning ways, rattling off four straight victories following Saturday’s 115-105 victory over the Charlotte Hornets. The Hawks are slowly but surely digging themselves out of a deep hole after struggling out of the gates this season.  Atlanta started out 4-9 through their first 13 games. But don’t look now, it seems like Trae Young and company are finally regaining the form they had when they made the Eastern Conference Finals in last year’s NBA playoffs.

Hawks Nation must be feeling much better today than they did two Friday’s ago, when they lost their 6th straight outing. Ice Trae is definitely feeling ecstatic over his team’s play as of late.

This is now the second-longest active winning streak in the league. And while four straight wins may not seem much, this is a good sign that Atlanta is finally shaking off their early-season struggles and could be on their way to clawing back up the Eastern Conference standings. Currently, the Hawks are still at 11th, but have slowly made their way near the .500 mark at 8-9. With this 4-game winning streak, here are three reasons to believe Ice Trae and the Hawks are finally back after a slow start to the 2021-22 season.

1. The Hawks have been on fire offensively

Atlanta has been clicking on all cylinders through this four-game winning streak. The Hawks have definitely taken advantage of some home cooking and have fed off the energy from their loud fans. After their win over Charlotte, Trae Young noted their adjustment to pick up the pace for their success as of late, per ESPN:

“I think the improvement that we’ve made is just to play faster,” said Young, who shot just 5 for 15 but added nine assists. “The more possessions you have, the more shots you get up, with the guys we have, it’s good.”

Over this home stretch, the Hawks are averaging 118.5 points per game and have shot 51.6 percent from the field. They have also knocked down 39.6 percent of their shots from beyond the arc. Their quality shot making has also been a result of their effort to get the balling moving a lot more. The Hawks have generated more assists at 26.3 a game over their last four outings compared to just 22.5 per night in their first 13 games of the season.

2. Clint Capela is playing much better

Starting center Clint Capela also seems to have shaken off the early season rust and is playing much better over Atlanta’s last four outings. Capela had looked less explosive to start the season as a result of dealing with an Achilles injury during the summer.

But as of late, the 27-year old is looking much more like the rim-running, defensive anchor the Hawks know and love. He is providing them that much-needed interior presence that feeds off the gravity of their star point guard Trae Young.

Capela’s numbers are also looking much more like the 15.2 points, 14.3 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks he put up in 2020-21. He had 20 points and 15 rebounds against the Hornets on Saturday, while going nearly perfect from the field for 10-of-11 shooting. This marks the second time in past three games that Capela recorded at least 20-15. Throughout this 4-game winning streak, the Swiss big man is averaging 15.3 points, 14.0 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks while making a living at the rim, converting 75.7 percent of his shots, which have nearly all come inside the paint.

3. It’s not just the Trae Young Show

I know “Strength in Numbers” is a mantra that belongs to the Golden State Warriors. But with all the talent on this Hawks roster, Atlanta has also embodied that over the past two years.

For the most part, the Hawks have utilized a team effort to propel their squad to this four-game winning streak. Trae Young is obviously still the main catalyst and leader of this squad, but their success through this run isn’t due to him going on a torrid shooting run. While he’s still putting superstar numbers of 25.5 points and 9.0 assists, with steady 46-39-91 shooting splits, he’s also gotten a lot of help from his supporting cast. Six other Hawks are averaging double-digits in scoring through this stretch, beginning with John Collins’ 19.3 points on an efficient 60 percent shooting.

Kevin Huerter has had two solid outings, following his insertion into the starting lineup after Deandre Hunter went down. He went for 19 points against the Boston Celtics last Wednesday and added 17 points more on Saturday’s win over Charlotte. Veteran forward Danilo Gallinari has also found his rhythm back after missing some time to begin the season. The sweet-shooting Italian is averaging 11.0 points per game while shooting 41.2 percent from three over the past four outings.