Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young had a short but sweet reaction to his team beating Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets to start the new year. For added emphasis, he also threw in a few emojis.
That’s how you start 2021. 😤❄️💯
— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) January 2, 2021
Playing in the second match of their two-game series against their Eastern Conference rival, the Hawks earned a well-rounded victory over the Nets. They held Brooklyn to under 100 points for the first time this season. Coming only two days after the teams played a barnburner in which they scored a combined 286 points (!), the win was yet another indication that Atlanta's early-season success could be sustainable.
Though they jumped out to an early 2-0 record last season–causing sparks of optimism among Atlanta faithful–the team quickly spiraled out of playoff contention, ultimately finishing the year with a dismal 20-47 record when the league shut down in April. However, judging by their performance to start this season, Young and Hawks seem to have no intention of enduring a similar collapse.
Earning a 4-1 record following their victory Friday night, Atlanta has been paced by a scorching offense that has racked up over 128 points per game–easily tops in the league. While their defense has been porous, ranked only 23rd in the NBA by comparison, their performance against the Nets would indicate that the squad can raise their level of play.
In leaving Brooklyn with a split in their series, Atlanta will now play in four consecutive games against teams currently projected to finish under .500 in the Cavaliers, Knicks, and Hornets. Should they duplicate their level of play that they displayed against the Nets, it seems likely that we'll be hearing more from Trae Young.