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Five Takeaways from Hawks Win Over Raptors

Five lessons learned from the Atlanta Hawks overtime victory over the Toronto Raptors.
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The Atlanta Hawks escaped with a 124-122 overtime win over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night. Toronto's roster was depleted by injuries, and their ten available players struggled shooting. The game should have never been this close, but a win is a win. Below are our five biggest takeaways from the game.

AJ Griffin

It's no surprise that the game ball goes to AJ Griffin. The rookie logged 30 vital minutes off the bench. Griffin scored 17 points on 53% shooting. Most importantly, Griffin got open for a game-winning alley-oop layup courtesy of Trae Young. 

Griffin's game is still rough around the edges (he's 19 years old). But he's a coach's son and a student of the game. Atlanta never planned on selecting Griffin in the 2022 NBA Draft, but they are thankful the Duke prospect fell in their lap.

Trae Young

Trae Young has been mired in the worst shooting slump of his career. However, Young played much better last night despite being covered by large guards. The Hawks floor general led the team with 33 points and 12 assists. 

Young shot 57.1% from the field and 50% from three. He was noticeably more careful about his shot selection throughout the game.


AJ Griffin has leaped over Aaron and Justin Holiday in the rotation. Hawks coach Nate McMillan kept Justin on the bench until the third quarter. The 33-year-old is having his least-productive season since 2015. While the development of Griffin is exciting, the vanishing act by Justin Holiday is concerning.

Bench Minutes

Hawks coach Nate McMillan has ridden his starters heavily over the past three games. Last night, the Hawks starting perimeter players logged 40+ minutes while the frontcourt tallied 34+ minutes.

As we mentioned earlier, Griffin played big minutes. However, Okongwu's numbers and production have plateaued so far this season. Additionally, Jalen Johnson played just over five minutes last night. Sometimes you have to grind out a win, but it is only November. McMillan has to trust his bench.

Lucky Breaks

Toronto snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Not only did they squander a fourth-quarter lead, but Scottie Barnes blew two good looks late in the game. Additionally, Toronto's outside shooting woes continued as they shot 21.6% from deep.

So far this season, Atlanta's opponents are shooting 32.5% from three. Only two other teams have held their opponents to a lower percentage on outside shots. At some point, those shots will start falling for opposing teams.

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