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Rebuild reality and doin it right

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Re: Rebuild reality and doin it right 

Post#381 » by Jamaaliver » Thu Aug 8, 2019 1:23 pm

As Lloyd Pierce has reimagined Trae Young’s role in the offense, Hawks General Manager Travis Schlenk has reworked the supporting cast.

Atlanta used lottery picks on Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter and Duke’s Cam Reddish in the 2019 draft, adding a pair of big, multi-positional wings to complement Young’s pick-and-roll partnership with John Collins. Young called the moves, which fit with Pierce’s three-point heavy offensive scheme, a “home run at every position we need.”

Schlenk deserves credit for a tidy turnaround, at least on paper. In the two-plus years since he was hired, the first-time GM has identified a potential franchise player in Young, assembled a legitimate core of young talent, established a clear style of play and navigated his organization toward an incredibly flexible salary cap position next summer.

Many of the most important players in Pierce’s new-look rotation will be 23 or younger, meaning Atlanta’s anticipated leap forward might still be a year away. Although Young’s potential is enough to make the mind wander, the Hawks’ brass is doing its best not to get ahead of itself.

“Progression is the key word,” Pierce said. “We have to play better defense. We have to play together better. We are preparing our young guys to win games. If we do that, an all-star [selection for Young] is possible and the playoffs are possible.”
Washington Post


Few NBA teams are as disciplined as the Hawks when it comes to sticking to a long-term plan. In three drafts under GM Travis Schlenk, Atlanta has targeted skill sets more than players. The front office identifies specific types of players whose games complement one another and then moves around the draft to acquire them, without worrying about their abilities in a vacuum. They are putting on a team-building clinic.

The Hawks have now added five key players in the past three drafts: John Collins, Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, Hunter and Cam Reddish. The unusual part is that all five can play in a lineup together. Atlanta head coach Lloyd Pierce may start a more traditional big man like Alex Len at the 5, but he could close games with these five young players in his own version of the Lineup of Death: Young at the 1, Collins at the 5, and three 3-and-D wings around them.


Everything starts with Young; he already makes the players around him better. The only way for a team with Young to be good defensively is to surround him with length and athleticism on the perimeter. The Hawks, who now have three of the biggest wings in the NBA, are doing that.

The biggest challenge in targeting wings with elite size and athleticism in the draft is that few can consistently shoot 3s—think of recent lottery busts like Josh Jackson and Stanley Johnson. Without other perimeter players who can stretch the floor, defenders could sag in the lane and force the ball out of Young’s hands. That should not be an issue with any of the young wings in Atlanta. All three players can space the floor around a pick-and-roll between Young and Collins.

Schlenk, an assistant GM in Golden State before coming to Atlanta, is clearly trying to re-create his old team. It’s unrealistic to expect Young to be as good as Steph Curry, Collins to be as good as Draymond Green, or Huerter to be as good as Klay Thompson. What Schlenk is gambling on is that putting players with similar skill sets in the same types of lineups can create roughly similar results.

Spoiler:
Hunter, Huerter, and Reddish all can attack a mismatch, which means there’s nowhere on the perimeter to hide a poor defender. A team that wants to move its point guard off the ball on defense and put its best wing defender on Young will be in trouble. Only point guards with elite size for their position will be able to hold up against a 6-foot-7 wing, which means most will have to stay on Young. It is the opposite of what Atlanta can do with Young on defense. Point guards will have to guard Young, but he won’t have to guard them. Golden State’s ability to do the same thing with Curry has been one of the underrated keys to its success in the playoffs.

There would have been no way for Atlanta to create a team that fit this well together if it had stood pat and taken the best available players. The Hawks acquired three of their five core players in trades. They received an extra pick by trading down last year (getting the pick that became Reddish by moving down from no. 3 to no. 5 in 2018 so the Mavs could take Luka Doncic) and cashed in their surplus of picks one year later to move up to take Hunter. It’s a risky strategy. There were more talented players on the board at no. 4. Atlanta needs the rest of its core to make Hunter better than he would have been if he had gone almost anywhere else.

The Hawks should be one of the most exciting young teams in the NBA over the next few seasons. They play a 3-point-heavy style with the type of versatile defensive cast that could be very appealing to a superstar in free agency, much like the Nets were this offseason. They don’t have any bad salaries on their books, either; the only deals past 2020-21 are rookie contracts. They will have acres of cap space ahead of them. Collins won’t be eligible for an extension until the summer of 2021, and Young won’t be up for one until 2022.
The Ringer


What a way to get a rebuild rolling. They appear fully committed to their vision.

General manager Travis Schlenk took over in 2017. Atlanta was coming off 10 straight postseason appearances, only one year removed from a playoff-series victory and just two years removed from a 60-win season.

Now, only DeAndre’ Bembry remains from the roster Schlenk inherited just two years ago. The last two players to go, Taurean Prince and Kent Bazemore, got moved this summer. They’re still assembling a young core. It’s OK if every piece is not yet placed.
NBC Sports
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Re: Rebuild reality and doin it right 

Post#382 » by Jamaaliver » Thu Aug 8, 2019 2:09 pm

It’s probably not a coincidence that the one team that has copied the most important parts of the Warriors model is run by one of their former executives. Atlanta Hawks GM Travis Schlenk drafted Trae Young to be his version of Curry and began looking for players who could be his versions of Thompson and Green. It might be Kevin Huerter and John Collins, or the players he selects with the no. 8 and no. 10 overall picks in this year’s draft. The Hawks are building their team around the synergy that exists between players with specific skill sets. It might be the best way to build through the draft given the way the NBA has flattened the lottery odds to make accumulating superstars harder. The Warriors didn’t need to make any top five picks to build their first championship team. There’s a lot the league can still learn from them. Maybe they really are light-years ahead.
The Ringer

The Hawks are placing great importance on the “nurture” aspect. It’s as if general manager Travis Schlenk is assembling a puzzle with the pieces he’s acquired. Their draft haul on Thursday night serves as evidence of the blueprint Schlenk is following, similar to the one that he helped build as an assistant in the Warriors front office. All three choices meet a clear objective: to build around point guard Trae Young.

[I]t’s critical to find players who can effectively space the floor and happily accept their roles. Hunter, 21, and Reddish, 19, are unselfish players who hit shots at an average-or-better rate, and they can make smart plays within the flow of the offense. Conversely, both Hunter and Reddish also benefit from Young since they’re at their best with simplified spot-up roles, attacking closeouts with straight-line drives and making the appropriate pass.

But they’ll cover up for Young too. Opposing offenses targeted Damian Lillard and Steph Curry in the postseason; they’ll someday do the same to Young, a miniature guard at 6-foot-2 with a skinny frame. Both Hunter and Reddish project favorably as off-ball defenders; one can take on a primary assignment against a guard, allowing Young to hide on defense against an inferior player off-ball—much like Curry has done over the years with the Warriors. As much as Young got compared to Curry in college because of his perimeter shooting, building around him on defense is just as important. The more his Hawks teammates can alleviate pressure on Young on defense, the more energy he will be able to exert on offense.

All the pieces fit together well; their skills complement each other rather than overlap, which can spark cohesive player development. Cam Reddish and fellow draftees De'Andre Hunter and Bruno Fernando join a group of Hawks players with unfulfilled potential:
Young must continue making advancements on offense, as does Huerter, to form a truly dynamic backcourt, and Collins must improve on defense. These kids all fit on paper, but now it’s time for their talent to manifest.
The Ringer
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Re: Rebuild reality and doin it right 

Post#383 » by EazyRoc » Fri Aug 9, 2019 4:57 am

Comparing Trae Young to Steph Curry isn’t fair to Steph...

That will make sense to everyone in about 3 years.

I like the new strategy. They are drafting the absolute best fits available not based on roster/positional needs, but scheme fit & skill set. We really are building something special. Coach Pierce has definitely exceeded my expectations with how he developed this team last year.

Cool thing is that if we don’t make the playoffs, we will still be able to add another lottery pick. This appears to be a damn good draft at the top.

It’s pretty cool that our core as constructed will all hit their primes and play their best basketball around the same time.
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Re: Rebuild reality and doin it right 

Post#384 » by EazyRoc » Fri Aug 9, 2019 5:54 am

Also people like to compare us to the Warriors, but the team we resemble most is the Suns when they had Nash, Amare, Marion, and the rest of them. Heavy PnR team with great 3 point shooters.

Trae = Nash
John = Amare
Hunter = Marion
Cam = Joe Johnson
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Re: Rebuild reality and doin it right 

Post#385 » by D21 » Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:55 pm

EazyRoc wrote:Also people like to compare us to the Warriors, but the team we resemble most is the Suns when they had Nash, Amare, Marion, and the rest of them. Heavy PnR team with great 3 point shooters.

Trae = Nash
John = Amare
Hunter = Marion
Cam = Joe Johnson


Right, except that I don't see Cam being Joe Johnson. He may end up being an All-Star, it's possible, and playing Joe's spot, but I don't see the same kind of player. There are no a lot of player build like Joe, and it's a big part of his defense. Let be clear, they guy could have been a monster if he had had the game mentality of Kobe for example.
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Re: Rebuild reality and doin it right 

Post#386 » by EazyRoc » Sun Aug 11, 2019 12:10 am

D21 wrote:
EazyRoc wrote:Also people like to compare us to the Warriors, but the team we resemble most is the Suns when they had Nash, Amare, Marion, and the rest of them. Heavy PnR team with great 3 point shooters.

Trae = Nash
John = Amare
Hunter = Marion
Cam = Joe Johnson


Right, except that I don't see Cam being Joe Johnson. He may end up being an All-Star, it's possible, and playing Joe's spot, but I don't see the same kind of player. There are no a lot of player build like Joe, and it's a big part of his defense. Let be clear, they guy could have been a monster if he had had the game mentality of Kobe for example.

They aren’t perfect comparisons but think about roles and talent level and it makes sense
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Re: Rebuild reality and doin it right 

Post#387 » by D21 » Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:34 pm

EazyRoc wrote:
D21 wrote:
EazyRoc wrote:Also people like to compare us to the Warriors, but the team we resemble most is the Suns when they had Nash, Amare, Marion, and the rest of them. Heavy PnR team with great 3 point shooters.

Trae = Nash
John = Amare
Hunter = Marion
Cam = Joe Johnson


Right, except that I don't see Cam being Joe Johnson. He may end up being an All-Star, it's possible, and playing Joe's spot, but I don't see the same kind of player. There are no a lot of player build like Joe, and it's a big part of his defense. Let be clear, they guy could have been a monster if he had had the game mentality of Kobe for example.

They aren’t perfect comparisons but think about roles and talent level and it makes sense


yes, I understand this POV, it's just that for me, Cam doesn't have the potential that Joe Johnson had entering the league.
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Re: Rebuild reality and doin it right 

Post#388 » by EliteSmarts » Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:29 am

EazyRoc wrote:Comparing Trae Young to Steph Curry isn’t fair to Steph...

That will make sense to everyone in about 3 years.

I like the new strategy. They are drafting the absolute best fits available not based on roster/positional needs, but scheme fit & skill set. We really are building something special. Coach Pierce has definitely exceeded my expectations with how he developed this team last year.

Cool thing is that if we don’t make the playoffs, we will still be able to add another lottery pick. This appears to be a damn good draft at the top.

It’s pretty cool that our core as constructed will all hit their primes and play their best basketball around the same time.

Are you really trying to say Young in his prime is going to be better than a prime Steph. Trae Young is one of my favorite players but you need to chill if you really believe that loll.
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Re: Rebuild reality and doin it right 

Post#389 » by EazyRoc » Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:41 pm

EliteSmarts wrote:
EazyRoc wrote:Comparing Trae Young to Steph Curry isn’t fair to Steph...

That will make sense to everyone in about 3 years.

I like the new strategy. They are drafting the absolute best fits available not based on roster/positional needs, but scheme fit & skill set. We really are building something special. Coach Pierce has definitely exceeded my expectations with how he developed this team last year.

Cool thing is that if we don’t make the playoffs, we will still be able to add another lottery pick. This appears to be a damn good draft at the top.

It’s pretty cool that our core as constructed will all hit their primes and play their best basketball around the same time.

Are you really trying to say Young in his prime is going to be better than a prime Steph. Trae Young is one of my favorite players but you need to chill if you really believe that loll.

Yea I really believe that.
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Re: Rebuild reality and doin it right 

Post#390 » by Jamaaliver » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:18 pm

We think we're on the right path. -Travis Schlenk

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Re: Rebuild reality and doin it right 

Post#391 » by graymule » Yesterday 5:21 pm

:D

Looking at this season's Hawk team, I see only one thing missing... EXPERIENCE!!
As we get that, watch out !!

:roll:

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