Before the game, John Collins said he wanted to make State Farm Arena a tough place to play. The high-flying power forward helped accomplish that tonight - but more on Collins later. Unlike Saturday evening, the Hawks were aggressive and pushed the tempo. What resulted was an easy victory that allowed the starters to get a little bit of rest late in the fourth quarter.
Danilo Gallinari (left shoulder soreness) and De'Andre Hunter (non-covid illness) were ruled out for tonight's game. The two forwards' absences shook up the rotation. Kevin Huerter moved into the starting lineup, and Lou Williams got his first action of the season.
Trae Young's 32 points served as the exclamation point of a well-rounded offensive effort. The team's shooters Kevin Huerter and Bogdan Bogdanovic finally warmed up and scored 14 points each. Collins scored a season-high 22 points, after a cold shooting night on Saturday.
Speaking of Collins, let's pause for a moment of silence for his victims - Luka Garza and Kelly Olynyk. 'John the Baptist' put both of them on a poster tonight. Collins dunking ability defies all laws of science and gravity.
After the game, Collins shed some light on his mindset when going up for alley-oops.
"I'm obviously analyzing the ball. How high it is, where's it at, and where I have to jump. Do I have to jump through it or over it or around somebody. That time, I knew Kevin just placed it perfectly to where I was in stride to jump and get it. I feel like Kev's been playing with me long enough to have that chemistry to where he just understands how and when to throw it and make the magic happen."
Coach McMillan likened Collins to a big man he used to play with back in Seattle - Shawn Kemp. The comparison holds up. Similar to 'The Reign Man,' Collins dunking style is almost punishing and punitive to the defender.
Young praised Collins skill and admitted to being amazed by the dunks, "It was crazy. I had the best angle in the house." Collins dunks might have overshadowed another incredible performance by Young. In addition to a season-high in points, the floor general only turned the ball over twice for the second straight game. His play was largely responsible for the final run that put the game on ice.
Now the Hawks (2-1) will take off for New Orleans to play the Pelicans (1-3) on Wednesday night. As always, we will have plenty of content for you tomorrow on the off-day. Stay locked into AllHawks.com as keep you updated with breaking news and analysis for your Atlanta Hawks.
Hawks Stats Leaders
Trae Young - 32 PTS, 9 AST
John Collins - 22 PTS, 7 REB
Cam Reddish - 17 PTS, 4 REB
Pistons Stats Leaders
Kelly Olynyk - 21 PTS, 6 REB
Saddiq Bey - 21 PTS, 7 REB
Josh Jackson - 18 PTS, 4 AST