A few days ago we talked about the Phoenix Suns and the Utah Jazz´s outstanding season, so we also have to mention the Atlanta Hawks. They are 4th in the Eastern Conference, behind the Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks. They record right now is 30 wins and 25 defeats and it seems that they will secure a Playoff spot. Let´s analyze the key points from the Georgia franchise.
A renewed team:
Atlanta strengthened themselves pretty good in the last NBA Player Market. Players like Bogdanovic, Gallinari or Lou Williams joined to a squad led by Trae Young and a very improved Clint Capela.
But this season´s merit is not just player´s. Do not forget that Atlanta fired Lloyd Pierce as their head coach and his assistant Nate McMillan took over. Since he had already worked with this same team, it was not too hard for him to connect with the players and improve the roster.
An improved defense:
Despite the fact that Lloyd Pierce had a defensive reputation, he did not prove that at all in the Atlanta Hawks and the team was 23rd in the league on defensive rating, conceding an average of 112,9 points every 100 possessions. After 17 games under coach McMillan, they had already climbed up to the 11th position, with 101,9 points every 100 possessions.
He has also worked in the exterior defense. The Hawks have organized themselves better and have brought their defensive line forward. This way, helps can come more easily, which decreases the opponent´s options to score after overcoming a defender.
Gallinari and Bogdanovic´s arrival have amde an impact in the Atlanta Hawks. The Italian averages a 40,7% effectiveness from outside the arch and the Serbian 41%. These are very good percentages, but we also have to add Tony Snell´s 51,7% and Lou Williams´50%. Overall, the Hawks have an average of 37,3 of effectiveness in 3-pointers.
But apart from triples, we must point out Clint Capela´s great offensive addition, as he has a 60% field goal´s succeed, the highest rate in the team. Moreover, the Swiss averages 15,3 points and 14,1 assists per game.
The Hawks from Atlanta are flying high this season and are proving that they are a tough team to play against. We will have to take them into account both for the last part of the season and the Playoffs.
Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.