Grading the Atlanta Hawks Starters up to December

Sitting at 7-23 the Atlanta Hawks are having an up and down season just as we thought they would. During some games it appears that the Hawks just cannot score especially in the 3rd quarter which leads to lost leads and eventually lost games. The question is it entirely a lack of talent? This team on paper looks really bad but when you take time to watch the games you see flashes of brilliance. The following are grades for the Atlanta Hawks up to this point:

Point Guard

Dennis Schröder – Grade B- 

Defensively this season, Dennis Schröder is among the worst in the league. We can make excuses such as “He has to shoulder most of the offense so he is gassed most of the game.” If you watch the tape this year he looks like he just can’t stay in front of anyone. When the likes Jose Calderon and Jarrett Jack blow past you there is something wrong. Offensively, he has shown that he can be that “guy” and score 20 points on any given night. The problem is that he hasn’t shown that he can be a complete player yet. Scoring 20+ is nice but giving up 20+ in the same game is lackluster.

Shooting Guard

Kent Bazemore- Grade C+

Can the real Kent Bazemore please stand up? Sometimes you get the Bazemore that can’t seem to find the basket. And the other times you get superstar Kent Bazemore who can do no wrong. The problem is you get the former way too much from someone making 17.5 million per year. Defensively, he is top 5 in the league in steals which is a definite plus for a rebuilding hawks team. Kent Bazemore’s energy is contagious which is exciting to see each game. If he ever becomes consistent the whole league should watch out for him.

Small Forward 

Taurean Prince- Grade A

This guy is not the same guy that was drafted with the number 12th overall pick in last years draft. Prince was just seen as a 3&D player and not much else when he was selected. This season Taurean Prince has looked like the Hawks new go-to player. Prince is shooting 50% from the field in the month of December which is astronomical for his growth as a player. Travis Schlenk is on record saying that the Hawks don’t have a franchise player on the roster right now but Prince is showing him that he is wrong.

Power Forward

Ersan Ilyasova – Grade C+

If I wrote this a month ago I would have given him a D but Ilyasova has been lighting it up as of late. Ilyasova is slowly reverting back to his Milwaukee Bucks form when he used to kill it from deep. If he keeps shooting like this the hawks can easily snatch up a few more wins then they are projected to finish with. Defensively, I have never seen anyone better at drawing charges than Ersan Ilyasova. Keep charging that charge card and your grade will slowly rise.

Center 

Dewayne Dedmon – Grade B

Dewayne Dedmon started off this season fantastically showing that he can expand his range to the three point line. He has shown that he can man the middle and hold his own on the defensive end. Even though he is more of a pick-and-roll big man he has shown that he can score at an efficient rate when passed the ball as the rolling player. Dedmon is a great player and fits this scheme like a glove.

 

Comment below what you would grade the Atlanta Hawks starters up to this point. Don’t forget to follow all the social media pages associated with ATLSPORTSHQ.

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