For the first couple weeks of the season, it looked as if the Hawks could potentially become a playoff team in the Eastern Conference. But after blowout losses to teams as the Clippers and the Lakers a week ago, the young team may still have a lot of growing to do as far as becoming an elite team in the NBA with everyone in the association having them on their radar.
Losing their stretch big in John Collins was a big loss for Atlanta. Having his length on the floor and his athleticism took the Hawks to another level when you talk about their play. It is no doubt that the Hawks miss him under the rim as they are giving up 44 rebounds to their opponents and are giving up a total of 46 points per game in the painted area. Although the team has great bigs as Alex Len and Damian Jones, Collins’ talent is something that will be missed in Atlanta and they cannot wait for the 3rd year man to make a return to the team soon.
Trae Young, the team’s franchise player, has had his signs of growing pains as well. There is no doubt the kid is talented offensively. He can handle the ball with ease and is arguably the best shooter in the NBA next to Steph Curry. But Young is on every teams scouting report and they are finding ways to make the game difficult for him. Teams have started to clog him whenever he tries to get a shot off and forcing him into turning over the ball.
So what are ways that Young can help his team when he gets into these situations? Well, he could possibly move without the basketball which would mean he wouldn’t be the one bringing the ball up the court. Or maybe even paying attention to detail understanding the double team is approaching and making a quick pass to a teammate.
Though one thing that has not been a problem for Young has been the ability to get his teammates involved as he’s averaging 8.4 assists per game this season. His ability to spot his players in open spots is phenomenal. So passing isn’t an issue for Young whatsoever, it seems as if the decision making for the young point guard can be kind of spotty at times as he has a lot of time to grow and mature as a leader.
Role players like De’Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish, Kevin Huerter, and others have the upmost potential to be great NBA players for the Hawks. When everything is going well for the team, they always come in and do the job they are told to do. To come in and do the important things both offensively and defensively says a lot for their age and experience. As they become more experienced in the league, they will learn the best ways to manage everything as far as their body and how to prepare for different teams each night then they’ll have a great career whether it’s with the Hawks or another franchise.
Despite the flaws that the team can have, the team is still young and have players who have very little experience (outside of Vince Carter). The 82 game NBA season can become pretty much overwhelming and they’ve showed signs of being exactly that after getting blown out through numerous amount of games. It’s best for Coach Pierce to just keep his team together and continue to guide them the best way through the rest of the regular season.
Even though they’re 4-11 right now, the Hawks are still one of the best rising young teams in the league. All they have to do is gain a little more experience in the league and have their talent and chemistry mix together on the court. This team has very smart and athletic players who can learn how to win as long as they’re put in the right position. Everyone should keep their faith in Lloyd Pierce as a head coach because once he gets this team to the level that they need to be, they’ll be a force to be wrecking with in the NBA. Everyone should expect the Atlanta Hawks to slowly creep into a playoff contender in at least 3-5 years.
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