It appears #Schlenking is in full effect this season.
The Hawks are off to an abysmal 2-11 start. $17 million-dollar man Kent Bazemore is the third-leading scorer on the team averaging a career-high 13.2 points a night. Marco Belinelli, who is currently playing for the eighth NBA team of his career, is shooting lights out with 90-40-40 percentages and the special events surrounding Hawks games have seemingly increased from a monthly routine to a game-to-game basis.
The expected bright spots are playing well. Taurean Prince and John Collins appear to get more comfortable with the NBA every game and the two should develop into pivotal pieces of a winning team one day. Unfortunately, DeAndre Bembry looked the best out of that nucleus, but his development has come to a halt after his wrist injury. Dennis Schroder has proven that he isn’t the answer for being your starting point guard on a contending team. While he’s probably a Top-15 guy at his position in the league, he’s not Top 10 and ironically his best fit may be in the two-guard system he spent the first few seasons of his career in.
Once the Hawks were down by 20+ points to the Washington Wizards on Saturday night, the Wizards’ announcers began telling stories about Dominique Wilkins, his legendary status and the prime of his career with the Atlanta Hawks. During the course of two-and-a-half hour broadcasts, commentators need something to talk about to avoid producers’ worst nightmare’s of “dead air.” It explains why Atlantans know so much about Joe Simpson and Chip Caray’s routine trips to the grocery store or gas station, because during 162 four-hour games, every second isn’t exactly occupied by breathtaking baseball. So when it comes to the Hawks this season, every minute of the 40+ blowouts can’t be occupied by talking about how Steph and Ayesha Curry hit dem folks at Bazemore’s wedding last summer, there needs to be some optimism for fans to listen to. And what is a better time period to reminisce on than when “Atlanta’s Air Force” had its last superstar in his prime for the last three decades? Forget about the entire not getting out of the second round thing or Feb. 24, 1994, ‘Nique represented the good times and the most wins until the team that still has all-active starters scattered around the NBA came along. So bring on the nostalgia, America.
Prospect update: Michael Porter Jr.’s college debut ended after two minutes due to a nagging hip injury. Marvin Bagley III is averaging 24.5 points and 10 rebounds through his first two games with Duke. Collin Sexton will make his college debut on Tuesday after serving a one-game suspension during an FBI investigation for potential NCAA violations caused by his family.