Clifton Park’s Huerter Has Season-Best Performance in His Back Yard
It's been a season of ups and downs for Clifton Park native, Kevin Huerter. The biggest "up" we've seen in a while, however, happened earlier this week in the state of New York, against the Brooklyn Nets.
Huerter Playing "Huert" as Hawks Fly Through East
After a season that saw he and the Atlanta Hawks advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, Huerter signed a four-year contract extension with the team, one that will see him make $65 million in total.
As Kevin's dad, Tom, explained to us when he joined Charlie and me on The Drive on Friday afternoon, Kevin underwent surgery in July, which forced him to miss a few crucial months in the offseason. As Mr. Huerter expanded upon, the months he missed in the offseason, he's had to make up now. After essentially beginning his offseason training at training camp, it's taken a bit of time to get back to game shape.
Huerter Exploded Against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center
Here were Kevin Huerter's point totals in the games he had played in this season before Wednesday night:
6, 4, 14, 2, 0, 3, inactive.
Those totals are far less than Capital Region basketball fans have come to expect from Huerter, and as Mr. Huerter had mentioned, that was due to him continuing to come back from injury.
That all changed on Wednesday night in Brooklyn.
Huerter finished his game in Brooklyn against the Nets with 16 points, two more than his season high, and by far his most points coming off of the bench. In watching a bit of that game, you could tell that he felt comfortable, was moving within the offense well, and had the trust of both his teammates and the coaching staff to knock down crucial shots.
Huerter and the Hawks Hold High Hopes
The Atlanta Hawks are talented, and, they're young. Huerter himself is 23 years of age, the same age as fellow Capital Region standout, Ian Anderson. He's joined by Trae Young, who is 23, John Collins, who is 24, and De'Andre Hunter, who is also 24. Even Clint Capela and Bogdan Bogdanovic are under 30 years old, and they're considered veterans.
With that much youth, you'll run into your issues with making inexperienced mistakes. That being said, a run to the Eastern Conference Finals for a group this young is massive for development, and with a performance like Wednesday night's in Brooklyn, Huerter once again projects to be right in the middle of the playoff hunt.