CHICAGO — — Trae Young was robust to cease in his first two NBA seasons. Surrounded by extra expertise than ever earlier than, he might turn out to be a nightmare for the league in his third 12 months.
“Simply having the ability to go on the market and placed on a present within the first sport was actually good,” Younger stated. “Not each night time clearly goes to be like this, but it surely’s actually good to have a gap sport like this.”
“All of our guys performed properly. All of our guys performed collectively,” coach Lloyd Pierce stated.
Searching for their first playoff berth since 2017, the Hawks signed Bogdan Bogdanovic, Danilo Gallinari, Rajon Rondo and Kris Dunn throughout free company. Rondo and Dunn have been held out on opening night time, however Bogdanovic had 15 factors and 7 rebounds, and Gallinari scored 13.
Whereas the newcomers might give Atlanta an enormous carry, the dynamic Younger stays the engine that drives the Hawks. He seemingly scored at will in opposition to the Bulls, going 10 for 12 from the sector, 5 for six from 3-point vary and 12 for 14 on the line. He additionally had seven assists and 6 rebounds in simply 26 minutes.
“The way in which we spaced, it opened up a variety of driving lanes and gaps to the rim for both photographs on the rim or in the event that they helped, we had shooters open,” Younger stated.
Chicago cleaned out its entrance workplace and fired coach Jim Boylen after it went 22-43 final 12 months throughout its third consecutive dropping season. Donovan was employed in September, and it appears as if he has fairly the job forward of him.
Zach LaVine scored 22 factors and Lauri Markkanen had 21 factors and 7 rebounds in a stable begin to an necessary season for the 23-year-old ahead. However the Bulls struggled defensively and have been careless with the ball at occasions, ending with 17 turnovers.
“We didn’t assist one another properly sufficient defensively,” Donovan stated.
Patrick Williams, the No. 4 general choose on this 12 months’s draft, had 16 factors for Chicago in his NBA debut. The 19-year-old Williams grew to become the youngest participant in Bulls historical past to begin their first sport of the season.
Younger led the best way as Atlanta grabbed management within the first half. He discovered Collins for an alley-oop jam that made it 66-46 with 4:49 left. He had 27 factors on 7-for-9 capturing on the break, serving to the Hawks to an 83-59 halftime lead.
“We simply did not come to play as a crew,” Bulls heart Wendell Carter Jr. stated.
Hawks: Dunn (proper knee) missed the sport in opposition to his former crew. Dunn performed for the Bulls for the previous three seasons earlier than signing a $10 million, two-year contract with the Hawks in free company. “He is simply at a degree the place he is attempting to get proper,” Pierce stated. “He is been doing a little non-contact exercise.” … C Clint Capela (left Achilles soreness) and Rondo (well being and security protocols) additionally have been held out. Requested if it may very well be a lingering difficulty with Capela, Pierce stated: “No, I simply thought he was sore.”
Bulls: F Thaddeus Young missed the opener due to an an infection in his decrease left leg. … Donovan did not reveal his starters till proper earlier than his first sport. He went with Williams, Markkanen, LaVine, Carter, and Coby White, however he stated staying versatile is necessary this 12 months due to COVID-19 protocols. “I believe we have to do a superb job, gamers and coaches, of creating positive we’re all staying prepared,” he stated.
Whereas Williams began in his NBA debut, Atlanta rookie Onyeka Okongwu was sidelined by a foot damage. Okongwu, a 6-foot-9 heart from Southern California who was chosen by the Hawks with the No. 6 choose within the draft, will likely be re-evaluated on Monday, the day of Atlanta’s house opener in opposition to Detroit.
Hawks: Go to Memphis on Saturday. They dropped each of their video games in opposition to the Grizzlies final season.
Bulls: Look to cease a nine-game dropping streak in opposition to Indiana after they host the Pacers on Saturday night time.
Jay Cohen could be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap