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Hawks off to a (f)izzling start

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Re: Hawks off to a sizzling start 

Post#21 » by atlantabbq99 » Wed Nov 10, 2021 9:35 pm

Just like the Braves, i'm not really going to pay attention until after the ASB.
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Re: Hawks off to a sizzling start 

Post#22 » by Jamaaliver » Thu Nov 11, 2021 11:41 pm

Three weeks into the season and it already feels like a huge letdown from this summer.

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The Atlanta Hawks offense is spinning its wheels

Watch any of the Hawks’ first 12 games this season and you’re likely to see an offense out of step with its personnel. A team built around Trae Young — already one of the best creators of 3-pointers and layups in NBA history — and a stable of shooters and secondary playmakers should not make scoring look arduous, yet this one seems almost incapable of generating easy shots. There’s a feeling of complacency to the way Atlanta runs its offense; where the league’s best scoring teams work for better shots, the Hawks tend to settle for mediocre ones.

Atlanta’s 15th-ranked offense hasn’t been as bad as its 27th-ranked defense, but it has looked equally disconnected, largely due to the team’s shot selection. Despite being one of the NBA’s best 3-point shooting teams, the Hawks currently own the 10th-worst effective field goal percentage in the league and the third-worst expected percentage based on their shot distribution. Their attempt rates from 3 and at the rim have declined significantly from last season, while their share of long mid-range attempts (between 14 feet and the 3-point line) has risen to the third-highest mark in the league. The Hawks are hitting less than 41 percent of those looks, most of which have come off the dribble.

That shot profile is consistent with previous Nate McMillan-led teams, but it doesn’t match the personnel on this roster. The Hawks have a handful of capable mid-range shooters, but none so prolific that they should actively hunt 20-foot jumpers early in the shot clock.

Shot selection is often a product of ball movement, and the Hawks have yet to find a consistent passing groove that would set up easier looks. Rather than moving the ball along when possessions bog down, the default response to stalled plays is often just hoisting up a shot at the first available opportunity. Only the Mavericks make fewer passes per game than the Hawks, who also rank 22nd in points created via assist and fourth in shots taken after at least seven dribbles. That stagnation creates a vicious cycle in which players force shots because they can’t find them within the flow of the offense, which only makes it harder to create good looks within the flow of the offense.



Part of that falls upon McMillan, whose playbook often lacks diversity and creativity. Some of it is on Young, who has been cold from virtually everywhere on the floor and heavily affected by the league’s crackdown on foul-drawing. Clint Capela is shooting a career-low 59 percent at the rim and is clearly hampered by the Achilles’ soreness that kept him out of the preseason. Bogdanović is taking nearly four fewer 3-pointers per 100 possessions than he did a year ago, while Young and Kevin Huerter are both attempting 3s at the lowest rate of their careers.

And yet, for all of their individual and collective struggles, the Hawks have still scored efficiently with Young on the floor and will likely get even better once he and his teammates start hitting shots at their usual rates. It’s still early in the season, and Atlanta still has the firepower to run a dynamic spread pick-and-roll offense with multiple scoring and playmaking threats. Fitting the pieces together just might take more work than anticipated.
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Re: Hawks off to a (f)izzling start 

Post#23 » by Jamaaliver » Fri Nov 12, 2021 12:03 am

NBA panic meter

Atlanta Hawks

Record: 4-8

Panic meter: 7 out of 10

Atlanta is a victim of its own success to an extent. No, 4-8 was never going to be an acceptable start, but reaching the Eastern Conference finals last season warped expectations to an unhealthy degree. Atlanta was, and probably still is, a ways off from genuine championship contention under normal circumstances. It landed on the right side of the bracket and benefited from injury luck last season. Realistically, the Hawks probably weren't going to make it as far this season even if they had improved as a team.

But they've regressed meaningfully. Perhaps their 27-11 mark under Nate McMillan last season was a bit ambitious, but a team as deep as Atlanta should have benefited from a wide-open Eastern Conference. It obviously hasn't, and some of the ways in which it's struggling are more concerning than others. Trae Young struggling to adjust to the NBA's new officiating style was predictable, but the Hawks are still scoring 111 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor. He's still a driver of elite team offense even if he's not as dominant individually.

Defense is more concerning. Atlanta's path to a remotely acceptable postseason defense ran through Clint Capela. He was an All-Defense candidate a season ago. This year, Atlanta's defense has been over 18 points per 100 possessions better with him on the bench. Those stats are misleading to an extent, especially since he shares so many minutes with Young, but his 4.2 percent block rate is among the lowest of his career and the Hawks as a team are allowing opponents to shoot 69.7 percent in the restricted area compared to 63.6 percent a year ago. The Hawks need a great Capela to defend at a championship level. Right now, they have a decent Capela.

That's been the overarching concern with this roster. De'Andre Hunter looked like a blossoming star a year ago. We're still seeing those flashes, but on balance, he hasn't taken the step Atlanta needed him to take. Cam Reddish is playing his best basketball as a professional, but that's not saying enough. The Hawks are a remarkably deep team in terms of starting-caliber players, but there's an enormous gap between Young and everyone else on this roster even factoring in his free throw concerns. The Hawks need to solve that problem if they're ever going to make it back to the Eastern Conference finals.
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Re: Hawks off to a (f)izzling start 

Post#24 » by Jamaaliver » Fri Nov 12, 2021 12:06 am

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Re: Hawks off to a (f)izzling start 

Post#25 » by Jamaaliver » Fri Nov 12, 2021 6:59 pm

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Re: Hawks off to a (f)izzling start 

Post#26 » by jayu70 » Fri Nov 12, 2021 7:45 pm

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Re: Hawks off to a (f)izzling start 

Post#27 » by Jamaaliver » Sat Nov 13, 2021 6:31 pm

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Re: Hawks off to a (f)izzling start 

Post#28 » by Jamaaliver » Sun Nov 14, 2021 4:02 am

I think the rest of the conference improved...

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kg01 wrote:
Jamaaliver wrote:
kg01 wrote:People aren't really thinking any of this through. They just want moves for the sake of making moves.


It's less about making moves for the sake of making moves, and more about being aggressive in shoring up our weaknesses. This is the most team success we've had in years, but there are clear holes to fix if we want to see improvement next season.

Dozens if teams make the Conf Finals one year and never make it back.

Why are we magically exempt when every other contender is making moves to improve their rosters?


Wait, what moves have "contenders" made to improve their rosters thus far?

Did I miss something?

Or perhaps you're giving several teams credit for simply coming back healthy and you are thusly assuming they'll be better.. and better than us?
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Re: Hawks off to a (f)izzling start 

Post#29 » by dms269 » Sun Nov 14, 2021 10:34 am

I agree some changes need to be made. However, we need to be careful that it isn't making a rash decision because we "have to win"...aka trading half our roster for a minor improvement or a player who won't necessarily fit (aka the ben simmons offers on the trade board).
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Re: Hawks off to a (f)izzling start 

Post#30 » by D21 » Sun Nov 14, 2021 2:32 pm

I don't see what a trade would bring at this moment.
Until now, ATL had a schedule that was totally the worst of the league : highest Strength of Schedule (just based on opponents record), lowest number of games played at home,...

Any media talking about "ATL should make a trade" without mentioning this schedule is just a click bait or should not write about the NBA.

Now, I just hope that Nate has explained that to the players if they didn't see it, and that he can turn it into motivation
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Re: Hawks off to a (f)izzling start 

Post#31 » by kg01 » Mon Nov 15, 2021 2:50 pm

Jamaaliver wrote:I think the rest of the conference improved...

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kg01 wrote:
Jamaaliver wrote:
It's less about making moves for the sake of making moves, and more about being aggressive in shoring up our weaknesses. This is the most team success we've had in years, but there are clear holes to fix if we want to see improvement next season.

Dozens if teams make the Conf Finals one year and never make it back.

Why are we magically exempt when every other contender is making moves to improve their rosters?


Wait, what moves have "contenders" made to improve their rosters thus far?

Did I miss something?

Or perhaps you're giving several teams credit for simply coming back healthy and you are thusly assuming they'll be better.. and better than us?


I am Rudy Gobert and @jamallo is my Myles Turner.

Aggressive hug incoming ....

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Re: Hawks off to a (f)izzling start 

Post#32 » by Spud2nique » Mon Nov 15, 2021 3:16 pm

kg01 wrote:
Jamaaliver wrote:I think the rest of the conference improved...

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kg01 wrote:
Wait, what moves have "contenders" made to improve their rosters thus far?

Did I miss something?

Or perhaps you're giving several teams credit for simply coming back healthy and you are thusly assuming they'll be better.. and better than us?


I am Rudy Gobert and @jamallo is my Myles Turner.

Aggressive hug incoming ....



:lol:
GO HAWKS!!! :thumbsup:
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Re: Hawks off to a (f)izzling start 

Post#33 » by Jamaaliver » Tue Nov 23, 2021 2:52 pm

Early-Season Report Card

Atlanta Hawks: C-

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Banking some wins over the past week helps the Atlanta Hawks elude a disastrous grade, but we can't soon forget the stretch in which they lost eight of nine.

Hovering below .500 before the quarter-mark is a gigantic letdown for one of last year's two Eastern Conference Finals participants. They have racked up plenty of nights where they look bad but also have games where they just seem to be floating, aimlessly, toward absolutely nothing.

Talent has preserved their offensive returns. Can the Hawks sustain a top-10 offense while placing in the bottom-five of the share of their shots that come at the rim and from deep? They shouldn't try to find out. Their defense is a larger concern either way. They've plunged to the bottom five of points allowed per possession and are letting opponents shoot nearly 70 percent around the rim—the league's worst mark.

Clint Capela looks...off. His finishing around the cup is way down, and rival offenses aren't as deterred by him at the other end. Foes are shooting 73.4 percent at the cup when he plays without Collins.

Atlanta is far from irreparable. Trae Young hasn't struggled to exist amid the new officiating as much as fellow free-throw-monger James Harden. Collins is so damn good—and adaptable. But the Hawks might be too deep (and bench-curious) for their own good. Striking a consolidation trade, at some point, could go a long way.
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Re: Hawks off to a (f)izzling start 

Post#34 » by Jamaaliver » Tue Nov 23, 2021 2:59 pm

NBA panic meter

Atlanta Hawks (6-9)

Panic meter: 3/10

The Hawks had high expectations for this season, but so far they have been a disappointment. However, if there's one team that should not panic after a lousy start, it's these guys, who endured a terrible stretch last season before turning it around and marching to the Eastern Conference finals.

Before Nate McMillan took over as interim head coach on March 1, the Hawks were mediocre at best, winning 14 of 34 games. But after March 1, the team went 27-11 to close the regular season before upending both the New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers in intense postseason series.

This season, they're off to another bad start, winning just six of their first 15 games thanks to Atlanta's poor defense.

The Hawks are sixth in offensive efficiency and 27th in defensive efficiency -- point guard Trae Young is a key reason for both of those rankings.

Young deserves credit for helping Atlanta get buckets, but he also needs to improve on the defensive end. Opponents love to attack Young in the pick-and-roll for good reason. Whether he's defending the action with Clint Capela or with John Collins, the results haven't been great.

Out of 50 players who have defended the ball handler in at least 500 pick-and-roll actions this season, Young ranks 49th, allowing 1.11 points per chance on those plays.

It's not an accident Young led the league in picks defended last season, and he's leading in that category again this year -- opponents know he struggles at the point of attack and they exploit that weakness.

Atlanta might never be a defensive juggernaut, but in the 38 games McMillan coached last season, the Hawks ranked 12th in the league on defense. That's the stat to watch for Atlanta. With Young at the helm, the offense will be good -- the question is can the defense become decent?
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Re: Hawks off to a (f)izzling start 

Post#35 » by jayu70 » Thu Nov 25, 2021 4:38 am

Are we sizzling again?
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Re: Hawks off to a (f)izzling start 

Post#36 » by Jamaaliver » Thu Nov 25, 2021 5:05 am

jayu70 wrote:Are we sizzling again?


:dontknow:

I mean -- we're on a 6-game winning streak...but it's against subpar competition.

We're only 2 games out of 2nd place...but we're still only tied for 9th place.

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Re: Hawks off to a (f)izzling start 

Post#37 » by D21 » Fri Nov 26, 2021 1:54 pm

Jamaaliver wrote:
jayu70 wrote:Are we sizzling again?

:dontknow:
I mean -- we're on a 6-game winning streak...but it's against subpar competition.
We're only 2 games out of 2nd place...but we're still only tied for 9th place


But most of the top record teams had more subpar competition games ;-)
PHX just had the easiest schedule, while ATL had the worst before this 6 games. If I'm not wrong (or it can be another team), they played their 13th games nearly one week after ATL played their 13th. ATL had only 4 games at home out of the first 13 games, while LAK played almost all their games at home...
The difference in schedule in this start of season are extreme, to a point that let wait at least 30-35 games before knowing each team real level.
Now that the NBA is back on a standard season, I find strange that they are not able to check a bit more the generated schedule, and adjust it a bit to not get such differences. It's easy tu build more confidence when you start with a lot of easy games. On the flip side, you can hit a wall after if you don't keep in mind that you had a huge advantage at the start of the season...
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Re: Hawks off to a (f)izzling start 

Post#38 » by kg01 » Fri Nov 26, 2021 3:02 pm

D21 wrote:
Jamaaliver wrote:
jayu70 wrote:Are we sizzling again?

:dontknow:
I mean -- we're on a 6-game winning streak...but it's against subpar competition.
We're only 2 games out of 2nd place...but we're still only tied for 9th place


But most of the top record teams had more subpar competition games ;-)
PHX just had the easiest schedule, while ATL had the worst before this 6 games. If I'm not wrong (or it can be another team), they played their 13th games nearly one week after ATL played their 13th. ATL had only 4 games at home out of the first 13 games, while LAK played almost all their games at home...
The difference in schedule in this start of season are extreme, to a point that let wait at least 30-35 games before knowing each team real level.
Now that the NBA is back on a standard season, I find strange that they are not able to check a bit more the generated schedule, and adjust it a bit to not get such differences. It's easy tu build more confidence when you start with a lot of easy games. On the flip side, you can hit a wall after if you don't keep in mind that you had a huge advantage at the start of the season...


Well stated. The early season scheduling disparity was pretty drastic this year. GSW had like 9 of their first 11 games at home or in the state of CA, for example. Good team, but that schedule helps.

It's like when refs call a game one-sided for 3 quarters then start giving token fouls to the other team in the 4th to even up the numbers once the games out of hand.

That early action matters for momentum, confidence, etc. Good to see the Hawks tough early schedule didn't break their spirit.
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Re: Hawks off to a (f)izzling start 

Post#39 » by jayu70 » Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:46 am

jayu70 wrote:Are we sizzling again?

Sssssssssizzling.

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