The Hawks are going to look a lot different this year. With all the major departures to the team, it looks like we’re heading in a rebuild mode. The Hawks signed a few players to team-friendly deals, opening up flexibility for next year. For years, the Hawks were viewed league wide as a good Regular Season team that made the playoffs but were boring to watch. Also, the Hawks had mediocre results during their consecutive playoff appearance as well.
Joe Johnson, Al Horford, and Paul Millsap were all good players, but they didn’t bring much excitement to their game. Players like Josh Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr. were players that Hawks fans loved because of the energy boost provided for the team on a nightly basis. Well, True Believers, the upcoming Atlanta Hawks roster are probably one of the worst we’ve seen from a talent perspective, but, they bring a lot of confidence and energy to the court
As we saw in the Summer League, John Collins can do what most people say, “jump out the gym”. Any chance Collins got, he was trying to dunk over someone. Of course in an NBA game, he won’t get that opportunity all the time, but with development, Collins can be a complete player. Blake Griffin is a good example of a player that came into the league with all athleticism, but not much NBA skill. Now if you look at Griffin, he knows how to control himself and is a great all-around player. Collins already has a nice mid-range shot, so if he can do that consistently he can take his game to the next level.
DeAndre Bembry and Taurean Prince displayed their athletic ability in their first season. Bembry showed off some of his skill in the Summer League. The way he adjusted his body while getting into the lane and also stealing the ball shows a guy that’s full of energy. He’s still working on his shot, but we all know if the shot isn’t working you have to find out other ways to make an impact.
We didn’t see much from Taurean Prince in the Summer League, but towards our playoff stretch, Prince provided some solid moments from a huge dunk against the Milwaukee Bucks to posting four blocks in a game against the Memphis Grizzlies. Prince’s biggest challenge is control when driving to the lane and he could be a great finisher at the rim.
We all know about Dennis Schroder by now. He’s a fast point guard that can get into the paint almost whenever he wants. He’s improved every year on controlling himself when driving to the lane. Like the other players mentioned, Dennis still needs to work on his jumpshot.
All these players have something in common: they love to run and get out in transition. We saw it in the Summer League from Prince, Collins, and Bembry, and we’ve been seeing it for years from Schroder. Everybody knows transition points are the easiest points in the lead and if you have a team that’s willing to run, it could cause trouble for other teams in the league. The Hawks may not be as good have they been in years past, but this is a team to be excited for.
Malik Brown: @_MalikATL