Despite being 18-41 there have been some bright spot for our Atlanta Hawks.
With 23 games to go in the 2017-18 season, the Hawks are essentially eliminated from Playoff contention. Being 12.5 games out, it is virtually guaranteed that the Playoff streak will come to an end at 10 years. Despite sporting the worst record in the NBA, there have been several bright spots this year. In addition, most die-hard fans will attest that this season has been much more enjoyable to watch compared to the two previous seasons.
Coming into the season, it was expected that Coach Bud would be able to have the team perform decently on the Defensive end of the floor while struggling Offensively. However, the opposite has actually been true. The Hawks have performed well for the most part on the offensive side while struggling mightily on defense.
Before we get into the grades, heres how the Hawks’s players stack up offensively and defensively via NBA Math’s metrics.
— NBA Math (@NBA_Math) February 15, 2018
19.5 PPG 3.1 RPG 6.3 APG
Dennis’ play this season has left much to be desired this season for a lot of Hawks fans. His struggles on Defense and from behind the arc have been noted time and time again. He currently ranks as he 2nd worst Point Guard in the league defensively according to ESPN’s RPM metric. His 29% 3PT% is also very displeasing. Despite this, he has done a decent job leading the team statistically and has shown more defensive effort over the past moth. It also appears that many fans have given up hope that he can be the Point Guard on a contending team but I personally believe that Dennis will be the perfect fit as the Hawks’ 3rd option a few years down the road.
13 PPG 4 RPG 3.6 APG
This past offseason, Baze stated that he played most of last year injured. Many scoffed at this remark because it comes off as an excuse. Through the first few months of the season it looked like that may have had just been talk. But over the course of the past two months, Bazemore has almost single-handily pulled off a few wins for Atlanta. He has elevated his play across the board developing into a high energy two-way player as well as a great leader and locker room presence. If Bazemore continues this level of play he can play a huge role as a two-way energy guy or even 6th man for us as we work our way back to contention.
12.2 PPG 4.7 RPG 2.3 APG
After his stretch of strong play through the first half of the season, Prince has really struggled as of late. Some of this may be attributed to his dislocated finger suffered vs. the Lakers. But the struggles seem to have spread from his shooting to other parts of his game. Hopefully the All-Star break has rejuvenated TP and we’ll see the early season version to finish out the season.
10.9 PPG 5.5 RPG 1.1 APG
First off, I want to say say I appreciate Ersan for actually wanting to be here, even though we are “bad”. Most players would love to bolt to a contender. With that said, we all want to see Collins start and play 25-30+ MPG over the last 23 games. Ersan has provided solid scoring and veteran leadership all season long.
10.2 PPG 7 RPG 1 APG
John Collins has given the Hawks hope through this tough season. After somehow falling to 19th to the Hawks in last year’s draft, Collins has ranked in the top 5 in several Rookie categories. It’s not just his dunks either. Collins has shown a good touch around the basket and his defensive improvement can be seen game by game. He has even begun to develop his 3 point shot. The sky is the limit for Collins. His personality and charisma also makes Collins very marketable as the face of the franchise. Something the Hawks have been searching for over the past several years. Here’s a graphic from NBA Math to further demonstrate just how great of a Rookie Collins has been.
Heading into the All-Star break, here’s how all NBA rookies have fared in TPA throughout the 2017-18 season: pic.twitter.com/sB9HsboBfV
— NBA Math (@NBA_Math) February 16, 2018
10.1 PPG 7.5 RPG 1.4 APG
Dedmon has picked up right where he left off after his injury. His fierce play on both ends of the floor keeps the Hawks in many games. The energy of the whole team seems to pick up when Dedmon starts compared to Plumlee. Dewayne could be in for a decent payday this summer but I could see the Hawks trying to keep him around another year or two to mentor the young guys. Especially Collins (and hopefully Ayton).
6.2 PPG 1.9 RPG 3 APG
When Malcolm is able to hit his three consistently he’s a really solid backup combo guard for us. Thankfully, he has been able to knock down the three at a higher clip than last season.
6.1 PPG 3.7 RPG .9 APG
Moose missed nearly 30 games this season due to a bad ankle sprain. Since returning however, when given the playing time he has produced rather well. Some team could look to sign him to a payday this summer with hopes that he will further develop.
5 PPG 3.3 RPG .8 APG
Cavanaugh provided a good spark off the bench when the Hawks were slaughtered with injuries early on but since hasn’t been able to break the crowded front court rotation lately. Down the stretch look for Bud to try to find some minutes for him.
4.8 PPG 1.8 RPG 1.2 APG
After an uninspiring Summer League showing there was little hope for the 2nd round pick’s Rookie season. But since being inserted into rotation, Dorsey has been turning heads. Since January 27th he has averaged nearly 9 PPG. As time goes on he will have to improve his shooting (37% on the year) but he looks to be a solid 2nd round steal. Kudos Mr. Schlenk.
4.8 PPG 2.5 RPG 1.5 APG
DeAndre would like to forget about his season. We would too. Let’s all hope he can string something together over these final 23.
4.6 PPG 1.4 RPG 2.3 APG
Isaiah has provided solid backup Point Guard minutes when called upon.
4.4 PPG 3.3 RPG .9 APG
Thankfully it appears that Plumlee has been glued to the bench once more. It felt like we won the Championship when Coach Bud finally put Dedmon back into the starting lineup.
Grade: F (He makes 12.5 Million Dollars so that drops it from a D+)
Here’s a look at the full statistical breakdown from Hawks.com
Bud has done a decent job making the most of the worst roster in the NBA. His rotations are still a little questionable at times but that’s just Bud. Hopefully he doesn’t grow impatient with the rebuild and try to bolt to a contender because he is a top 5 Coach in the NBA. We are in good hands Coaching, GM and Ownership wise.
Despite owning the league’s worst record at 18-41, nobody can say this team doesn’t come out and battle every single night. That’s something that could not always be said the past few years. Also the Hawks rank closer to the middle of the pack rather than the basement according to NBA Math’s metrics.
Heading into the All-Star break, how has your favorite NBA team fared on both ends of the floor throughout the 2017-18 season? pic.twitter.com/jOZaVabeCS
— NBA Math (@NBA_Math) February 16, 2018
Despite looking somewhat decent since around Christmas, the Hawks’s remaining schedule is brutal. Therefore it should be expected that we can keep our spot at the bottom of the standings and land the best odds in the Draft Lottery. I project us to finish with a 24-58 record.
Like I said, despite the ugly record, the team fights and that’s all you can ask for from a talent starved roster.
Team Grade: B-
Phil Veasley | @_ATLPhil
If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming a writer for ATLSportsHQ please DM Phil on Twitter or send a sample article to email@example.com.