Rookie Young to lead Hawks against 76ers
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NBA rookie of the year hopeful Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks travel to the Wells Fargo Center on Monday night for matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers and last season's rookie of the year, Ben Simmons.
Young is averaging almost 20 points per game (19.8) to lead all rookies, but he is coming off his worst game as a pro in Saturday's 97-85 loss to Chicago. Young shot 3 for 12 from the field and missed all six of his 3-point attempts to finish with a season-low 13 points.
"It starts with me," Young told reporters after the loss to the Bulls. "With energy. I've got to bring energy start to finish."
For the 76ers this year, the issue hasn't been energy, but defense.
But Philadelphia smothered Charlotte in a 105-103 win on Saturday, holding the Hornets to just 39 percent shooting from the field. That clampdown came after allowing 256 total points in their two previous games, both losses.
Simmons was harried against the Hornets, finishing with just 14 points, but he did add 12 rebounds, including six on the offensive end.
"I like his spirit, and it's taking that spirit and putting it in the right environment, trying to help him find those driving lanes and opportunities," head coach Brett Brown said. "We are always challenging him. With offensive rebounds, I think he can be incredibly elite, gifted, featured on other teams scout tapes as a committed offensive rebounder. He had six tonight, I thought that was an excellent part of his game tonight."
For the Sixers, Saturday's win over the Hornets was a positive step on the defensive end, even if Kemba Walker did score 37 points.
"We still have some ways to go but today was a great step for us," Sixers forward Robert Covington said after the game. "We were playing a lot better mentally. When we get tired, that's when things start to drop off, but I felt like tonight we didn't do that. We had that same level-headedness about us going into the fourth, even towards the end of the game. We had a few lapses, but every game isn't going to be perfect. The guys know that we took a step in the right direction."
For Atlanta, head coach Lloyd Pierce wants to see better 3-point looks, and the Hawks may see them against a 76ers team allowing 34 percent shooting from deep. Before stubbing their toes against the Bulls, Atlanta shot 40 percent from deep in a 111-104 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.
"We got the threes up but not the ones we wanted," Pierce told reporters after the loss to Chicago. "Part of it is when you look at how we play, ball movement, ball reversal, touching hands, we try to make simple plays. You can look at the number but those weren't the threes that we wanted. We want threes on plays that were off of penetration, threes off of guys that are helping or over-helping and just making the simple reads."
Updated October 29, 2018