Direction Georgia for the series between the Hawks and the Knicks, which had seen Atlanta recover the home ground advantage in Game 1, before New York equalized in Game 2. And for the New York franchise precisely, a Tom Thibodeau’s choice had paid off in the last game: that of placing Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson in the starting five, after the break. Satisfied with his adjustment, the Coach of the Year 2011 decided to repeat the experience this evening.
Disrupted by timing problems, the first minutes of this meeting offered us a magnificent leader’s duel, between Derrick Rose and Trae Young. Untenable at 3-point, mid-distance and near the circle, the two players delight the public at the State Farm Arena, ready to explode with every action. Like this duel, Hawks and Knicks are neck and neck on the scoreboard, despite a better “supporting-cast” in relay from Trae Young (15-14).
Guided by a Trae Young of the great evenings, therefore, the Atlanta collective recites its scales offensively. The 3-point substitutes, like Danilo Gallinari, are raining everywhere. Aggressive, New York is not left behind by going to the free throw line to increase its points counter, with Nerlens Noel for example. At the end of the quarter, faults continue to be whistled on both sides, considerably chopping the game. And it is finally the men of Tom Thibodeau who take the lead after twelve minutes, on a 3 -points at the buzzer of Julius Randle (31-29).
Trae Young, conductor of the Atlanta collective
In the second act, unlike Game 1 and then Game 2, the battle of the benches is rather balanced. The fault, in particular, with a series of lost balls in each camp, interspersed with a superb “circus-shot” of Immanuel Quickley. With the Hawks, it is the aggressive Lou Williams who takes care of everything (or almost) in attack, while Alec Burks responds spontaneously, with the Knicks (39-38).
It was then that the return of the incumbents changed this part. Led by the inevitable Trae Young, who puts John Collins and Clint Capela into orbit on “alley-oop”, while feeding the brand and stuffing his balloons shooters, Atlanta inflicts two terrible “runs” on New York: one of 9 -0, another 13-0. As for the visitors precisely, a 3-point from Reggie Bullock and a basket from Derrick Rose excepted, the failures accumulate, in particular those of Julius Randle. At the break, the gap thus rises to more than ten points (58-44).
Upon returning from the locker room, if the ordeal of Julius Randle does not end, Trae Young continues his offensive festival. Faced with the newfound 3-point success of the Knicks, coupled with the percussion of a vintage Derrick Rose, who struggles to bring his own, the star point guard of the Hawks continues to shower his teammates with balloons, while remaining effective on his “floaters” which he masters so much (70-55).
In the midst of the galley, Julius Randle eventually regained confidence in his shoot and aggressiveness in the racket, to chain a few points or good shifts for his partners in New York, who will look for faults and free throws. Problem: Bogdan Bogdanovic also decides to press the accelerator in front, at the exit of Trae Young, at 3-points or near the circle. A warm stroke that allows Atlanta to always be comfortably installed at the controls, twelve minutes from the end (86-72).
Vintage Derrick Rose
In the last quarter, to resist the Knicks’ comeback attempts, instigated by an elusive Derrick Rose in the paint, the Hawks rely on the 3-points of their replacements, to say the least effective and productive tonight . Back in the game, Trae Young goes once again from his famous “floater”, before Derrick Rose and Obi Toppin do the show on a long distance “alley-oop”. But the gap does not change on the scoreboard (97-80).
In the “money-time”, New York does not abdicate, always with Obi Toppin on “alley-oop” or Derrick Rose near the circle. In the hard, Atlanta can then count on the “alley-oops” of its interior duo John Collins – Clint Capela to find the loophole. And the last minutes of Game 3 finally sum up this Game 3 wonderfully, between the counter of Clint Capela on a shy shoot from Julius Randle, a technical fault of Reggie Bullock frustrated by Trae Young or the countless New York failures, with the only Derrick Rose who floats.
On arrival, the Hawks therefore logically win in this match (105-94), at the same time regaining the advantage in this series. The 21 points and 14 assists of Trae Young, leader of a Georgian collective made up in total of seven players with at least 10 points, are obviously not foreign to this success. On the Knicks side, Derrick Rose (30 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists) tried everything, but he cruelly lacked support all evening, especially that of Julius Randle (14 points, 2/15 on shots …) .