Despite a horrid 24-58 record there were plenty of moments for the die-hards like myself to savior this season.
To the casuals, this season was probably overlooked as “ah, this team stinks, I’m not paying them no mind”. But to me (one of the biggest Hawks fans in the land, I must say), this was the most enjoyable season I’ve been a part of; other than the 60 win season. No, stop laughing, I’m being serious. Unlike some other seasons (cough, last year), it was evident that this team came out every single night and fought.
Here are my personal top five things to come from this season.
5. No expectations = No disappointments
We all knew coming into the season that we were going to suck. And if you didn’t know, the 1-8 start certainly got you up to speed. But it was easy to handle. Like I said above, the team fought. Also we had a chance to win the majority of our games.
4. The play of our 10-Days and Two-Ways
Down the stretch the Hawks were essentially a glorified G-League team. Despite that, we still managed to win a few surprising games and hung around in most of the others. The play of Damion Lee was nothing short of amazing. I profiled the impact of of all our Ten-Days and Two-Ways here.
Much credit must be awarded to GM Travis Schlenk and Coach Bud for finding the right guys and giving them opportunities to succeed.
3. The growth of Kent Bazemore into a true leader
Bazemore’s numbers of 12.9 PPG 3.8 RPG and 3.5 APG don’t really jump off the stat sheet but if you watched this season you’d see that his impact was immeasurable. He also single-handily won a few games for the Hawks late in the 4th quarter this season.
Also, if you get a chance go back and watch one of the games where he was injured and on the bench. He was basically a cheerleader, assistant coach and motivator. Every single play Baze would be standing and hyping his teammates on. That is a great thing to see from a player who looks to be a huge part of things going forward.
It is great to have someone who stays this positive and happy to be somewhere during a 24-58 season. We as fans all need to do a better job appreciating the BazeGod (looking at you specifically, fans who rooted for losses).
— JJ (@JameelahJNBA) April 12, 2018
Courtesy: @JameelahJNBA Twitter
2. Taurean Prince’s Development
Despite a down stretch from January to February Prince ended up averaging 14.1 PPG. Not bad for a second year player. Injuries forced Coach Bud to essentially “give him the keys” down the stretch and that average skyrocketed to over 19 PPG in March and April including two 38 point explosions and a cold blooded game winner vs the Suns.
Taurean has all the on the court intangibles to develop into a star. Just has to work on his confidence and basketball IQ at times. If he spends the summer in the film room we could be looking at another breakout season next year.
1. John Collins’ Jams
Videos do this better justice than words. The future is bright.
What were your favorite moments of the season? Let us know in the comments!
Phil Veasley | @_ATLPhil
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