The Atlanta Hawks are rolling right now. On Friday night, they trounced the New York Knicks at State Farm Arena 139-124 to extend their season-long winning streak to five games. Fueled by impressive shooting -- 53.1 percent from the floor and 44.8 percent from three -- and opportunistic defense, the Hawks are playing their best basketball of the season.
Terrell Thomas of These Urban Times joined Sam & Greg to discuss the recent success of the Hawks, and how he thinks they've found it.
Terrell sees two things: first, the team is getting healthy; and second, there seems to be a more pronounced role for the rotation of players on the floor.
"It’s been great to see during this four -- now five-game -- winning streak," he began. "We spoke about it all season about the Hawks have not had their full roster out there and the possibilities being limitless on what could happen. We've seen the rotation now, with Clint back in the lineup, big [Onyeka Okongwu], and Jalen Johnson coming off the bench."
Most important of all, Thomas believes that Trae Young is embracing a different role and showing more trust in his teammates.
"But it really seems like Trae Young is embracing the role of a facilitator," Thomas continued. "I don't want to say, you know, he's not the top dog [in terms of scoring] here in Atlanta or anything like that, but I do think he's an extraordinary passer. I know beforehand he came into the league, he was compared to Steph Curry, and I kept saying to the folks, no, I think he's more like a Steve Nash. He can shoot the ball and he can score the ball, but he has a very high basketball IQ and he's a great facilitator."
Trae is attempting five fewer shots per game during this streak, but his efficiency has improved and the ball has started to move around the court. As a result, the entire team is seeing a boost and they've upped their per game average by 7.6 points per game during this run.
Thomas sees this and credits the Hawks' star point guard because of the way he's getting his teammates involved.
"Now that we have Dejounte Murray, who's just been on this ridiculous scoring-streak recently, 29 points last night," he finished explaining."Dejounte is beginning to take more of that scoring role and Trae Young takes more of that facilitator role. He's getting other guys involved, he's getting AJ Griffin involved, he's getting John Collins involved. So, I think on nights when we do see four or five players in double figures, it's going to be extremely hard to beat this team."