ImageImage

How do the Hawks get better defensively?

Moderators: dms269, HMFFL, Jamaaliver

What needs to happen to fix the defense?

Better Effort
8
22%
Better Coaching
5
14%
Better Players
24
65%
 
Total votes: 37

User avatar
Jamaaliver
Forum Mod - Hawks
Forum Mod - Hawks
Posts: 24,163
And1: 8,730
Joined: Sep 22, 2005
Location: Officially a citizen of the World...
Contact:
     

Re: How do the Hawks get better defensively? 

Post#101 » by Jamaaliver » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:47 pm

Pierce is a defensive-minded coach who helped engineer an elite unit for the Philadelphia 76ers prior to joining the Hawks. But in the absence of the overwhelming defensive talent he had in Philadelphia, Atlanta ranked 27th in defensive efficiency last season. Collins has thus far struggled to provide adequate rebounding and rim protection as a center, while Young may have quite literally been the worst defender in the NBA as a rookie. The Hawks can mask some of their defensive shortcomings, but those remedies would likely come at the expense of shooting and dynamism at other positions. The only configuration in which Atlanta’s most promising players can eventually share the floor requires Collins to play as the lone big, and those lineups will likely continue to struggle on defense this year.

Even in an ideal long-term scenario, it’s unclear whether Atlanta can protect the rim at a sufficient level unless Collins blossoms into a more reliable anchor. While he has the bounce to challenge shots, react quickly and cover for mistakes, he simply doesn’t put those tools to use frequently enough. He limited opponents to 55 percent shooting at the rim last season, but Collins’ block and steal rates plummeted after an encouraging rookie season and the Hawks hemorrhaged points when he played without a center beside him.

Pierce says he plans on using his young big primarily at power forward this season — a perfectly justifiable approach given his flimsiness at center — and while a statistical defensive improvement would be welcome, he simply wants to see more investment on that end.

“All of our guys understand that was the knock on us last year,” Pierce said. “We know we can score. We have some capable scorers. For us to advance, for us to progress, it’s going to come down to how we approach the games defensively.”

Spoiler:
The front office addressed that need through the draft, spending the fourth overall pick on De’Andre Hunter, who could evolve into a dynamic four-position defender and an ideal complement to Young’s high pick-and-roll virtuosity. Wings Kevin Huerter and Cam Reddish should, at the very least, become passable defenders.

This summer also gave Young, Collins and Pierce a glimpse into exactly what is required of elite defensive players. The trio watched and worked with a pesky collection of perimeter defenders in Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Derrick White and Khris Middleton over the summer, as well as rim protectors like Myles Turner and Brook Lopez.

While the Hawks may never become an elite defense, that group’s tenacity and intelligence as individual and team defenders set a standard toward which to work, and Pierce is hopeful Young can improve in much the same way Kemba Walker did with Team USA.

“Right from the start we told him, ‘You probably have never had to defend this hard,’” Pierce said. “Kemba… took the challenge, bought into it, competed at a high level. He did everything gracefully, did everything with a smile on his face as he always does. I thought that was encouraging.”
Fansided
jayu70
RealGM
Posts: 10,579
And1: 7,627
Joined: Mar 11, 2014
   

Re: How do the Hawks get better defensively? 

Post#102 » by jayu70 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:34 pm

Read on Twitter


“Consistency is a keyword, and we’ll use that, and the approach is important for all our guys,” Pierce said. “I don’t want any of our guys thinking we’ve accomplished anything just yet. And so yes, defense is at the forefront of this training camp, but we have to maintain the same mentality we went into last year with. It’s easy for any young player offensively to buy in and to play at the effort they want. We have a lot of versatile and skilled offensive players. But for us, to make any steps, it’s going to be on the defensive end, and it’s definitely going to be with our effort on both sides of the basketball.” 

User avatar
Jamaaliver
Forum Mod - Hawks
Forum Mod - Hawks
Posts: 24,163
And1: 8,730
Joined: Sep 22, 2005
Location: Officially a citizen of the World...
Contact:
     

Re: How do the Hawks get better defensively? 

Post#103 » by Jamaaliver » Fri Oct 4, 2019 7:45 pm

How the Hawks can get better on defense

The Hawks were a disaster on the defensive end [last season]. They gave up the most points per game and finished with the third-worst team defensive rating. Pierce said the team hasn’t touched pick-and-roll defense and has only taught a little transition defense. It’s a long process, but Pierce said he has to teach the basics, reteach the basics and give the players an opportunity for success and failure before they can move on to step two.

Mastering defense is going to take time with this group, and it sounds like a major improvement on that end of the floor is still far away from happening.
The Athletic
graymule
Pro Prospect
Posts: 971
And1: 994
Joined: Jun 18, 2004

Re: How do the Hawks get better defensively? 

Post#104 » by graymule » Sat Oct 5, 2019 1:41 pm

:banghead:

Complicated! Personally, I have never realized how much there is to learn in the NBA to have an elite defensive team. Lloyd Pierce now informs all of us how much more this current Hawk team must learn. And, they must react without thinking about it. Just do it. The good news is, they are young enough to learn this. Apparently, all season long, this young Hawk team will now be asked to improve their defense.

Knowing how to and knowing when to is all part of it. Effort is required. Basketball IQ comes into play. We can do this !!

:nod:
User avatar
Jamaaliver
Forum Mod - Hawks
Forum Mod - Hawks
Posts: 24,163
And1: 8,730
Joined: Sep 22, 2005
Location: Officially a citizen of the World...
Contact:
     

Re: How do the Hawks get better defensively? 

Post#105 » by Jamaaliver » Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:59 pm

Read on Twitter


Robby Kalland wrote:The Hawks Quest For A Defensive Identity Will Determine Their Success

The Hawks are high on the list of likely lottery teams worth watching as often as possible, but with a win total projection of 36 and expectations of fans in Atlanta high after a strong close to last season, how good they’ll actually be is hotly debated. Offensively they have questions to answer.

Defense is a much bigger question mark, and one that coach Lloyd Pierce is well aware of. The roster turnover they saw this offseason creates a lack of continuity, and, coupled with the team’s youth, makes for a steep learning curve. Pierce is quick to note that every team has to effectively start over every year on the defensive end because, whether it’s one player or nine, replacing anyone on a team requires everyone to adapt and grow accustomed to new rotations and lineups.

Spoiler:
“I don’t care who you are, you’re starting from scratch when you start training camp, because if you have one new player, and he’s an integral part of what you’re doing, one new player can also be the weakness to your defense if he’s zigging and you guys are zagging,” Pierce told Dime on Wednesday night. “The more corporate knowledge you have, and John and Trae and [De’Andre] Bembry and Vince have some of that, now it’s just spreading that corporate knowledge to the new guys and then all of us getting on the same page quicker.”

Losing Dewayne Dedmon leaves a significant hole to fill as a rim protector, one they’ll hope Len can step into. On the wing they’ll rely on rookies to fill the gaps, the most significant of those being the one left behind by Bazemore. While Reddish provides some much needed length on the wing, Hunter is the player Pierce will quickly admit he plans to lean on on that end. Hunter’s versatility and switchability makes him incredibly valuable as a wing defender, but more than anything it’s his willingness to put full effort in on that end that, coupled with his physical gifts and length, sets him apart.

The weakness for both Young and Collins is on the defensive end, where they both have a ceiling simply by their physical limitations give their smaller statures. However, as Pierce explained last year, his challenge to them was to put forth better effort on that end, telling both the path to 35 minutes per game from the 30 they both averaged was through their contributions on defense. Neither Young or Collins project as high-level defensive players given their size, which means they both have to work that much harder to be passable on that end.


For this Hawks team to succeed, they need a defensive identity which means that even if their potential stars aren’t ever going to be elite on that end, in order for the team as a whole to create that identity those two have to show that defense is important to them. With Young in particular, an increase in effort level has been noticeable.

The roster construction this year leaves plenty of reason for skepticism that even with an improvement in effort, the Hawks can’t be much better than a bottom-third defensive team in the NBA. However, that ceiling still leaves room for a significant step forward from the 27th ranked defense (113.9 DRtg, per Basketball-Reference) in the league a year ago. It’s not just the only way they have a chance at topping their Vegas win total for this year, but also the only way this season can serve as a legitimate stepping stone to eventual playoff contention.
Uproxx
User avatar
pssshhhrrr87
Sophomore
Posts: 111
And1: 58
Joined: Feb 21, 2013
Location: Dacula, GA
         

Re: How do the Hawks get better defensively? 

Post#106 » by pssshhhrrr87 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:16 pm

Talent scores points. Defense is all about effort. Tony Allen had a long career not because he was talented but because he worked his tail off on defense.
User avatar
Jamaaliver
Forum Mod - Hawks
Forum Mod - Hawks
Posts: 24,163
And1: 8,730
Joined: Sep 22, 2005
Location: Officially a citizen of the World...
Contact:
     

Re: How do the Hawks get better defensively? 

Post#107 » by Jamaaliver » Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:35 am

In Game One, we were able to make some serious halftime adjustments...or tired legs from a B2B finally benefited us.

Read on Twitter

Read on Twitter
jayu70
RealGM
Posts: 10,579
And1: 7,627
Joined: Mar 11, 2014
   

Re: How do the Hawks get better defensively? 

Post#108 » by jayu70 » Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:55 am

Read on Twitter

:nod: :nod:
User avatar
Jamaaliver
Forum Mod - Hawks
Forum Mod - Hawks
Posts: 24,163
And1: 8,730
Joined: Sep 22, 2005
Location: Officially a citizen of the World...
Contact:
     

Re: How do the Hawks get better defensively? 

Post#109 » by Jamaaliver » Sun Nov 3, 2019 11:35 pm

Read on Twitter
jayu70
RealGM
Posts: 10,579
And1: 7,627
Joined: Mar 11, 2014
   

Re: How do the Hawks get better defensively? 

Post#110 » by jayu70 » Mon Nov 4, 2019 4:35 pm

It's early, but this is encouraging for JC.
Read on Twitter
User avatar
Jamaaliver
Forum Mod - Hawks
Forum Mod - Hawks
Posts: 24,163
And1: 8,730
Joined: Sep 22, 2005
Location: Officially a citizen of the World...
Contact:
     

Re: How do the Hawks get better defensively? 

Post#111 » by Jamaaliver » Mon Nov 4, 2019 5:44 pm

From the article above:

Defensively, it appears the Hawks are in fact improved in the young season, despite losing veterans and top defenders from the 2018-19 roster in Kent Bazemore and Dewayne Dedmon over the summer. The change in personnel is not the sole purpose for the apparent improvement. The in-house development is something to note that is perhaps flying under the radar, specifically the play of third year big man John Collins. The club, specifically Lloyd Pierce, has been hesitant to call Collins a center, but he’s playing a fair share of his minutes as at the 5, even with all three of the Hawks’ other centers healthy and available. At 6’9, he is not the ideal size for a center even in today’s NBA and he’s probably more likely to succeed individually as a power forward, but for the first time in his career, we can correctly hybridize him when labeling his position because of how he is being deployed defensively in certain lineups.
jayu70
RealGM
Posts: 10,579
And1: 7,627
Joined: Mar 11, 2014
   

Re: How do the Hawks get better defensively? 

Post#112 » by jayu70 » Wed Nov 6, 2019 1:43 pm

Read on Twitter


:nod:
User avatar
Jamaaliver
Forum Mod - Hawks
Forum Mod - Hawks
Posts: 24,163
And1: 8,730
Joined: Sep 22, 2005
Location: Officially a citizen of the World...
Contact:
     

Re: How do the Hawks get better defensively? 

Post#113 » by Jamaaliver » Wed Nov 6, 2019 8:51 pm

Biggest Surprises – Southeast Division

Big D in the ATL

In these first few weeks, we’ve seen the future of the Atlanta Hawks. Unfortunately, after a hot 2-0 start, led by Trae Young and his ridiculous 38.5 point, 7.0 rebound and 9.0 assist stat line, the Hawks lost their star point guard to a nasty ankle injury. Of course, the offense has taken a hit as they rank just 25th in scoring and 24th in offensive rating.

But, the major surprise has been their defense.

Atlanta boasts the 9th best defensive rating in the NBA and they rank seventh in opponent points allowed. The Hawks’ strong play on the defensive side of the court has been a group effort, with rookies De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish proving major contributors; the strong, athletic wings have struggled to find their place in the offensive hierarchy, but the duo has proven themselves immediate impactors on defense.

Throw in John Collins, the defensive-minded DeAndre’ Bembry and others, and head coach Lloyd Pierce has a wealth of defensive weapons at his disposal.

While he hasn’t been on the floor that much because of the injury, Atlanta has done a fantastic job surrounding Young with big, athletic bodies that allow him to be his best on offense. Collins, Hunter, Reddish and Kevin Huerter feature some serious size — each of them stand 6-foot-7 or taller — and have proven the perfect foil to Young’s 6-foot-2 frame. Alex Len and Bruno Fernando have brought some more size, as the two have filled their own roles quite nicely as well.

If they can keep up the defensive intensity, the Hawks could prove one of the biggest surprises in the NBA, not just the Southeast, when Young can return and get the offense back on track.
Basketball Insiders
Jason3442
Ballboy
Posts: 1
And1: 0
Joined: Jun 24, 2018

Re: How do the Hawks get better defensively? 

Post#114 » by Jason3442 » Sat Nov 9, 2019 5:53 pm

The hawks are going to be a bad defensive team for as long as Trae Young and John Collins are around. They ranked as the worst defenders at their respective positions last season.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/syndication.bleacherreport.com/amp/2822874-metrics-101-exposing-the-nbas-worst-defender-at-every-position.amp.html


Sent from my iPhone using RealGM Forums
EazyRoc
Senior
Posts: 530
And1: 389
Joined: Dec 15, 2018

Re: How do the Hawks get better defensively? 

Post#115 » by EazyRoc » Sat Nov 9, 2019 9:43 pm

Jason3442 wrote:The hawks are going to be a bad defensive team for as long as Trae Young and John Collins are around. They ranked as the worst defenders at their respective positions last season.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/syndication.bleacherreport.com/amp/2822874-metrics-101-exposing-the-nbas-worst-defender-at-every-position.amp.html


Sent from my iPhone using RealGM Forums
Neither of them have been all that bad this season. We are still a young team learning to play ball at the pro level night in and night out. We got killed by missed rotations mostly against Sacramento. We just need experience and a better option at the center position.
jayu70
RealGM
Posts: 10,579
And1: 7,627
Joined: Mar 11, 2014
   

Re: How do the Hawks get better defensively? 

Post#116 » by jayu70 » Sat Nov 9, 2019 11:25 pm

EazyRoc wrote:
Jason3442 wrote:The hawks are going to be a bad defensive team for as long as Trae Young and John Collins are around. They ranked as the worst defenders at their respective positions last season.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/syndication.bleacherreport.com/amp/2822874-metrics-101-exposing-the-nbas-worst-defender-at-every-position.amp.html


Sent from my iPhone using RealGM Forums
Neither of them have been all that bad this season. We are still a young team learning to play ball at the pro level night in and night out. We got killed by missed rotations mostly against Sacramento. We just need experience and a better option at the center position.

It's a good thing this is a new season and players habe the opportunity to get better. Both Trae and John were decent on defense to start the season. Now JC is gone and the defense took a hit with Parker, he is bad, slow to rotate and close out, something JC did well, but alas he's gone for another 22 games. Trae started good, has struggled a bit since coming back from the ankle, he actually played the passing lanes well last night racking up 5 steals.
User avatar
Jamaaliver
Forum Mod - Hawks
Forum Mod - Hawks
Posts: 24,163
And1: 8,730
Joined: Sep 22, 2005
Location: Officially a citizen of the World...
Contact:
     

Re: How do the Hawks get better defensively? 

Post#117 » by Jamaaliver » Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:43 pm

Hawks have fallen from top-8 in defensive rating to middle of the pack at 15...in about a week.

Offense hasn't improved in that time either. It'll be interesting to see what adjustments the staff makes to help us become competitive again.

Read on Twitter

Read on Twitter
kg01
Head Coach
Posts: 6,022
And1: 7,830
Joined: Jun 28, 2017
 

Re: How do the Hawks get better defensively? 

Post#118 » by kg01 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:12 pm

Jamaaliver wrote:Hawks have fallen from top-8 in defensive rating to middle of the pack at 15...in about a week.

Offense hasn't improved in that time either. It'll be interesting to see what adjustments the staff makes to help us become competitive again.


Agreed. And thanks for posting these. I'm curious to follow how our defense does and wasn't sure where to look for relevant measurables. Guess you're finally pulling your weight as a mod. 'Bout time. :wink:

I think our defense will be impacted mightily by the 1 and 5 positions.
king01 :king:
jayu70
RealGM
Posts: 10,579
And1: 7,627
Joined: Mar 11, 2014
   

Re: How do the Hawks get better defensively? 

Post#119 » by jayu70 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:23 pm

kg01 wrote:
Jamaaliver wrote:Hawks have fallen from top-8 in defensive rating to middle of the pack at 15...in about a week.

Offense hasn't improved in that time either. It'll be interesting to see what adjustments the staff makes to help us become competitive again.


Agreed. And thanks for posting these. I'm curious to follow how our defense does and wasn't sure where to look for relevant measurables. Guess you're finally pulling your weight as a mod. 'Bout time. :wink:

I think our defense will be impacted mightily by the 1 and 5 positions.

Len's defense has actually been pretty good. Parker on the other hand, straight doodoo. His individual defense and team defense - atrocious. Simple trap on a PnR he struggles with.
kg01
Head Coach
Posts: 6,022
And1: 7,830
Joined: Jun 28, 2017
 

Re: How do the Hawks get better defensively? 

Post#120 » by kg01 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:31 pm

jayu70 wrote:
kg01 wrote:
Jamaaliver wrote:Hawks have fallen from top-8 in defensive rating to middle of the pack at 15...in about a week.

Offense hasn't improved in that time either. It'll be interesting to see what adjustments the staff makes to help us become competitive again.


Agreed. And thanks for posting these. I'm curious to follow how our defense does and wasn't sure where to look for relevant measurables. Guess you're finally pulling your weight as a mod. 'Bout time. :wink:

I think our defense will be impacted mightily by the 1 and 5 positions.

Len's defense has actually been pretty good. Parker on the other hand, straight doodoo. His individual defense and team defense - atrocious. Simple trap on a PnR he struggles with.


True. Len has been so bad on offense though that I looked, multiple times, and thought he might be playing with boxing gloves on. Like, "How did you fumble that perfect pass?!"
king01 :king:

Return to Atlanta Hawks