Unconcious shooting. Extra passes. Playing with pace and intensity. Tonight looked like what fans had envisioned during the offseason. The Hawks decisively defeated the Celtics 110-99 for their third consecutive victory.
It's no surprise that the big three played well. Trae Young's shots weren't falling, so he willed himself to the foul line and made 10-10 free throws. John Collins posted another hyper-efficient double-double. Clint Capela continued to dominant the paint.
What was a pleasant surprise was the role players excelling tonight. Kevin Huerter came out red hot early in the game and scored his second-most points of the season. Bogdan Bogdanovic shot 40% from deep (including three straight triples), while Danilo Gallinari shot 50% from the field.
But Cam Reddish deserves special recognition. Everyone knows Reddish can be a streaky shooter and likes to jump the passing lanes on defense, and tonight was a prime example of that. Reddish's 19 points and 3 steals buoyed the bench mob.
When asked about his performance, Reddish immediately pivoted to praise his teammates. "Guys were trying to find me. Get me some easy ones early, and kind of got me going." While that's generous and there is truth to that, Reddish used his size and athleticism to cut through the Celtics defense with ease.
The Celtics, without Jaylen Brown and Robert Williams III, struggled to keep up with the Hawks blistering pace. Coming into this game, the Celtics were a top-ten team in defensive rating (104.1).
Hawks coach Nate McMillan said, "Boston is a tough team to figure out. They're a really solid defensive team that does a lot of switching, so you have to be patient to find the matchup you want to take advantage of. I thought our guys did that tonight."
The coach gave some clues on what he saw on the court. "Defensively, the way they're playing - small ball - it was a challenge for us. Because we're not really a switching team. But we had to make some reads and some adjustments on the floor. I thought our guys figured it out during the course of the game."
After a whirlwind week, the Hawks have the next two days off. They host LaMelo Ball and the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday. Stay locked into AllHawks.com as we keep you updated with breaking news and analysis.
Hawks Stats Leaders
Trae Young - 18 PTS, 11 AST
John Collins - 20 PTS, 11 REB
Kevin Huerter - 19 PTS, 5 REB
Cam Reddish - 19 PTS, 3 STL
Celtics Stats Leaders
Jayson Tatum - 34 PTS, 9 REB
Grant Williams - 18 PTS, 6 REB
Dennis Schroder - 15 PTS, 3 STL.