The Atlanta Hawks are dead last in league standings and things look grim going forward
The Hawks are currently dead last in the NBA standings with a dismal 6-27 record. They are 33 games into their season and already have two 10-game losing streaks. Granted they are 2-17 against playoff teams, but at this point, you would think they would adjust to the strength of their opponents.
Beyond the schedule, there are just so many concerning factors that plague their future. The roster is stocked with a plethora of both young talent and veteran leadership.
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For starters, you can’t talk about the Hawks without first bringing uprising star Trae Young, who is having a career year in only his second season. However, while he is fourth in the league in points per game, he is also tied with James Harden for top listing in turnovers per game. That style of play might work for Harden, but it certainly is not helping Young and the Hawks.
Assume you want to ignore that, then look at the rest of their roster. With Young being the face of the franchise, the front office paired him with adequate young talent in versatile John Collins and Kevin Huerter, alongside rookies De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish. With that said, each of these players has come with their own faults this season.
Collins, who is perhaps the most consistent player on this team, recently came off a 25-game suspension for using a banned substance. Even when he was playing, the Hawks still struggled.
Second-year forward Huerter just can’t seem to find the basket as he is shooting under 40 percent from deep.
The rookie tandem of Hunter and Reddish leaves much to be desired. While Hunter seems to be the more reliable of the two, both are shooting under 40 percent from the field. Even more glaring, Reddish, who was supposed to be one of the more premier perimeter shooters coming out of his NBA draft class, is shooting an abysmal 26 percent from 3-point range.
Suppose you want to credit that to youth and adjustment to the professional game. That is fine, but there are several veteran savvy guys on this roster to mentor the young studs.
Vince Carter has 21 years experience and was drafted before five players on the Hawks’ roster were even born. Evan Turner has seen the Sam Hinkie-76ers and the post-Big Three Celtics eras. It would be assumed that based on the struggling teams they have played for or just the lessons of being in the NBA for so long that those lessons would have been passed down by now.
Even if that does not show you how much trouble the Hawks are in, let’s analyze the coaching. Lloyd Pierce was an assistant for Brett Brown and the 76ers during those Sam Hinkie years, which gives him the knowledge of how to deal with a struggling franchise. Not only that, but he just came off a Team USA stint as an assistant coach under Gregg Popovich.
Pierce literally has a coaching career working with struggling teams so his inability to adjust and groom his players is alarming, to say the least.
There are a million excuses you can use, but they can only last for so long because every team faces adversity one way or another.
Blame the injuries, the schedule, the coach, whatever you want to defend their woes. The real problem is their inability to face adversity head-on.
The Atlanta Hawks are floundering. A young group of players is expected to have growing pains, but at least should be trending in the right direction.