The Atlanta Hawks have officially completed 10 games into their 72 game season and here at Hawksbeat we want to do periodic check-ins and see where the team stands, where we feel it is going and what improvements have been made. We decided to take a look at this Hawks team and do a “health check” literally and figuratively. This piece may have a analytic feel to it but numbers usually provide a bit of a insight into what a team is.
Keep in mind, 10 games is the sample size and for what it’s worth, that is really small.
Hawks are 5-5 (2-3 Home: 3-2 Road). They are averaging 113.9 ppg (6th in NBA), giving up 109.5 (5th in NBA)
Currently the Atlanta Hawks are placed 8th in the Eastern Conference. An optimist could point out that the Hawks have a better record than the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors. We know this changes on a nightly basis but its the truth for this point in time. All things considered if the Hawks finish with at .500 record that would be good enough for 36 wins which in the East could mean playoffs. Again, extremely small sample size.
Last year the Hawks were 4-6 after 10 games. They won their 4th game against the Denver Nuggets and after that they would go on to lose 10 straight games. This of course was on the heels of the John Collins suspension. During this time the Hawks starters were Trae Young, the two rookies, Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter, NBA man of glass Jabari Parker and Damion Jones.
For everyone critical of the Lloyd Pierce coaching job go back and read those starters again. Most nights the second unit was comprised of DeAndre’ Bembery, Alan Crabbe, Alex Len, Bruno Fernando, Tyrone Wallace and Evan Turner. The highlight of that 10 game losing streak was a 49 point loss against the Clippers and a 47 point loss against the Rockets.
That was last year, and changes were made.
Hurting Hawks: Big Money Free Agents Frequent Injury List.
This off-season Hawks GM Travis Schlenk spent money on Free Agents to address deficiencies from last year. I don’t have to remind you what the roster locked like just read the previous paragraph again. Lets take a look to how these new additions are working out for the Hawks.
Bogdan Bogdanovic – Suffered a knee injury against Charlotte, the timetable for his return is around 4-6 weeks.
Daniro Gallinari – According to Hawks GM Travis Schlenk, Gallinari isn’t traveling with the team but he is getting closer to return. We have no idea what “closer” means but one thing is for sure when Gallo is on the court this is a different Hawks team.
Rajon Rondo – He has been dealing with knee soreness all season. Rondo has looked good the few times he has played. The latest on Rondo is that he is set to be reevaluated before the team sets out on their road trip and could be on track to play this week.
Kris Dunn– Underwent surgery to remove loose cartilage in his ankle, he’s also been dealing with knee issues. He is out indefinitely.
Onyeka Okongwu – The first round pick from USC has been dealing with a left foot injury. Latest reports is that his return to the court is soon. He has been cleared for live practice and has been doing 3 on 3’s with coaches.
For perspective, with just these 5 guys out the Hawks are missing roughly 50 points a game in offense, arguably the teams best passer not named Trae Young and two defensive guys on a team that can be defensively deficient at times. These players being out says is a big deal. Without them you are basically only a little bit better than what you were last year.
What’s New in 2021?
De’Andre Hunter in year 2 is showing exactly why Travis Schlenk made the move to jump spots in the draft to pick him. Early on he is the Hawks best two-way player and its top 3 point shooter percentage wise. Look at the improvements from year one to year two.
Rookie year 2019-20 : 12.3 ppg … 41% FG … 35% 3PT … 76% FT … 4.5 rpg
Year two 2020-2021: 16.3 ppg … 51% FG … 43% 3PT … 85% FT …. 6.8 rpg
- The Hawks are currently the 2nd best rebounding team in the NBA at 49.7. Last year they were 17th (43.3)
- The Hawks are 9th in total scoring (113.9). They were 17th last year (111.8)
- The Hawks are 12th in points allowed (109.5). They were 30th last year with (119.7)
- Trae Young is currently 4th in the NBA in assist per game with 8.5.
- Clint Capela is currently 3rd in the NBA in rebounding with 12.9
- John Collins and Trae Young are ranked 31st and 32 in the NBA player efficiency ratings (PER).
There is still a lot of basketball to be played and we have seen what the Hawks could be with guys like Rondo and Gallinari in the lineup, and we’ve seen what they looked like short handed. The potential is there for this team to be good maybe even really good, but the guys that are playing now need to keep the ship afloat until the team get healthier. We’ll probably do another check-in after 25 games and see where we are.
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