After winning 60 games and making the Eastern Conference Finals last season, expectations were sky high. While in many seasons we would be thrilled to have a 31-24 record at the All-Star Break; this season it feels like a let down. This is mainly because throughout the first half of this season, we’ve seen the Hawks suffer blowout losses from teams you shouldn’t lose to considering their success from last season.
Overall, the Hawks have been marred with several stretches of inconsistency and surprisingly, this is considering that Atlanta has avoided any major injuries outside of backup Center Tiago Splitter. This season, we have no i which Hawks team will show up. All in all from a team perspective, I personally give them a C+ on their performance so far. If we want to advance past the 1st or 2nd round of the NBA playoffs, we have to find a way to play consistent basketball. Let’s take at how each player has done this season.
Paul Millsap: A
Before we talk more about Paul, let’s take a moment and be thankful that we re-signed him this off-season. Where in the world would the Hawks be right now without Millsap? One could argue that we wouldn’t even be in the playoff picture. Paul is having a sensational career best year averaging career high numbers across the board.
Al Horford: C+
Coming into his contract year, I was expecting Horford to have the type of year that Millsap is enjoying. Despite adding a consistent 3 point shot, it’s been a relatively quiet season for Horford. To the dismay of some Hawks fans, Horford is averaging a career low 6.9 rebounds per game.
Kyle Korver: C-
Kyle’s rigorous offseason training program was derailed by not one, but two offseason surgeries. This has definitely marred his season. While his three point percentage is 39%, which most NBA players would love to have; it is down nearly 10% from the torching season he had last year. Korver’s confidence appears to have taken the biggest hit however, as a lot of shots he would take last year he passes up on this year.
Kent Bazemore: A-
BazeGOD has filled the role that Carroll did nicely. He has nearly duplicated the numbers that we saw last year from the “Junkyard Dog”. While this year has been incredible for Baze, he still needs to work on staying under control. At times, he lose control while heading to the basket leading to missed opportunities.
Jeff Teague: C
Since admitting he was playing through an ankle sprain and since the trade rumors have become increasingly loud, Teague’s play has improved. Most of the season however has been a copy of how the Hawks season has been. Inconsistent. By the way, I do believe that we have seen Jeff play his last game in a Hawks uniform.
Dennis Schroder: B
Dennis’ biggest strength is also his biggest weakness, his confidence! If you asked Dennis, he probably would say he could beat Lebron one-on-one on any given day. Each game, Dennis learns how to run the offense better and better; from making the right passes to knowing when and when not to pull the trigger on a shot. It’s only a matter of time before Dennis is handed the keys to Bud’s system.
Mike Scott: B
Despite some off-season trouble, Mike has put together a solid season. He’s hitting the three and a solid rate and even giving some effort at the defensive end. Prison time may still be looming but hopefully he won’t have a court date until after the playoffs.
Thabo Sefolosha: C-
I wasn’t sure what to expect with Thabo coming off that police assault that cost of a chance of going to the Finals last year. But, I’ve been pretty satisfied with his play except for the fact that he can’t make a three to save his life!
Mike Muscala: B
Moose has filled in rather nice in the latest absence of Splitter. So much so, that I think when(if) Splitter returns that Muscala should stay ahead of him in the rotation.
Tim Hardaway JR: C
After being buried under the bench for the first few months of the season, THJ has come on strong lately. He’s averaging 5 points in just about 16 MPG over the stretch of his last 10 games. The Hawks are just 12-12 in the 24 games he’s appeared in however.
Tiago Splitter: D-
I was probably one of the biggest supporters of this trade when it happened but Tiago simply hasn’t been able to stay on the court. He is now considering surgery which would essentially end his season. Even when he is in the lineup, the results have been sub-par as he’s averaging only 5.6 points and 3.3 rebounds per game in 16.1 minutes of play.
Justin Holiday, Edy Tavares, Lamar Patterson, Shelvin Mack: Incomplete.
We haven’t really seen these guys enough to give an adequate grade. Although, I must applaud all of these guys for staying ready whenever their names are called. I must say however, I thought Justin Holiday would play more of a role on this team.
Phil Veasley— @ATLHawksPhil