Hawks Tanking: Was it the Right Choice?

Staff Writer: Brenden Foo

Standings 

The Atlanta Hawks have been struggling throughout the season to win games. Some of the losses come from the lack of talent and experience on the team, but some of the time the losses are self-inflicted due to the coaches deciding to sit the players that were better fit for the situation. Now, the Hawks are tied for the third worst record in the whole league, barely scraping over the Memphis Grizzlies and the Phoenix Suns. Reggie Miller stated, “The Hawks are a much better team than they are showing this season, which shows that they aren’t really trying to win their games. The Hawks have lost five of the last six games that they have played, the only team they beat being the somehow lower seeded Phoenix Suns (Mar 3). Their last loss was given to them by the very dominant Oklahoma City Thunder (Mar 13). They lost the game 119-107 and allowed Russel Westbrook to get his 100th triple double of his career. 

 

 

Veterans Taking a Rest?  

The Hawks have multiple key Veterans that are being used to help the younger players grow and help the program win the few games that they have been winning. Dennis Schroder has been taking over the team as the star player averaging 19 points and six assists per game. He was able to both raise his point averages and reduce his turnovers, yet he is still

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Kent Bazemore driving past Valentine for an easy layup Photo courtesy of Creative Commons. Collected by carter Maczko

being rested way too much for his age. Kevin McHale said that, “Dennis Schroeder can be the star of the Hawks, he just a need a little bit more time to grow.” He is only 24, yet his minutes have been reduced since last year. Kent Bazemore is also a very key player that brings in much needed scoring and defensive presence to the team. He was averaging 13 pints per game which was really helping the team’s scoring totals, but then he got injured and has been out with a knee injury, just a few days ago being able to start playing again. Head Coach BudenHolzer said, “Without Bazemore we are struggling both on the offense and defensive sides of the court,” which shows how essential of a piece his is to his team. The injury is limiting his minutes which is detrimental to the team due to everything he brings to the court. 

 

Rookies Putting in Work  

The hawks have had pretty good luck in the draft lottery in the past two years. Last year they were able to pick up both Taurean Prince with the 12th pick in the draft and DeAndre’ Bembry with the 21st pick. Taurean Prince has been a solid guard for the Hawks, scoring 14 points a game on 42 percent shooting and adding in four rebounds for Atlanta. DeAndre’ Bembry hasn’t been as successful as Prince in his season, only adding in four points and three rebounds every game. But the pest pick that they ha

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Los Angeles Clippers

Collins looking to attack the rim against the Clippers. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons. Collected by carter Maczko

ve had in the past few years was John Collins, who they picked up with the 19th pick of this year’s draft. He has been steadily growing in his rookie season, averaging pretty good numbers with 11 points per game and racking in seven rebounds for the Hawks. Charles Barkley said, “John Collins was a good pick for the Hawks. He’s developing into a great big and will be an essential part to the team in the coming years.” Hopefully Collins can live up to the hopes that Barkley has set for him. They also drafted Tyler Dorsey in the second round with the 11th pick. He has been a solid bench for Atlanta, adding six points and two rebounds per game.  

Upcoming games against Playoff and Low Tier Teams

The next game that they play is against the Philidelphia 76r’s on March 30th, who is 4th in the Eastern Conference.  This game shouldn’t matter to the Hawks, and they should just use this game to get their rookies experience in-game and help them grow as players. They play the 14th seeded Magic the next game on April 1, and they should see if they can win the game while still playing the rookies a solid amount to cont

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Atlanta Hawks

Coach Budenholzer is going to make the decision of trying to win these last few games or just continue getting the rookies experience. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons. Collected by carter Maczko

inue to get them experience in the league. They then play the Heat back to back on (4/3) and (4/4). Atlanta should try and take these games and see if they can beat a playoff team but if they don’t have a close game with them the first game, they should go back to playing the rookies for more minutes. They then close off the regular season against three playoff contending teams, The Boston Celtics without Kyrie Irving, the young but very talented 76’rs and a Wizards team missing John Wall. These games should just be more growing time for the rookies, considering that they are most likely not going to win these games. 

Looking Ahead  

After this sad performance of a season by the Atlanta Hawks, they should focus on finding pieces to put around both Dennis and Bazemore. Once these two have some help on the court, the Hawks could be a solid team in the league. The Hawks should also try and get some cheap veterans to the roster as well. They could use them to help the rookies to grow into the best player they can in the league. They should also get as much work as they can in the off season, so the whole team can bring the team chemistry up and allow the Hawks to turn into a more solid team overall on and off the court. In the draft, considering they have one of the highest chance of getting a good draft pick in t

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Hawks stadium still packed for the Trailblazers game despite the struggles this year. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons. Collected by carter Maczko

he lottery, they should find another rookie post player to pair up with John Collins, which will allow them to move Collins to power forward and allow them to run the floor more easily and allow them to grab more rebounds considering they don’t have many solid big men who can grab boards. If they end up getting the first pick in the draft the obvious choice for them would be Marvin Bagley III. With the mix of shooting threes and his post work, he can help diversify the offense of the Hawks and make it harder for them to score. He also has tremendous speed for a big man, which will allow them to run transition much better than with any other big men.  Chris Webber stated that, “Marvin Bagley is one of the best big men I have seen coming out of college. If he doesn’t go top five in the draft, I will be amazed.” With all this promise in the future, the Atlanta Hawks could grow into a playoff contending team. 

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