The Hawks made the hiring of Quin Snyder official on Monday as the former Jazz head coach takes over in Atlanta for the final stretch of the season.
Snyder and the club agreed to a five-year contract after he sat out the 2022-23 season following his departure from Utah. With the Jazz from 2014-2022, Snyder accrued a 372-264 record, but his most impressive year came in 2020-21 when he led Utah to a 52-20 record and the #1 seed before falling to the Clippers in the Western Conference semifinals.
Synder is expected to take over the rest of the season with Atlanta’s current staff in place, so I’m not sure how likely the Hawks will turn things around. Nate McMillan was always going to be let go eventually, and Snyder is undoubtedly an upgrade, but the cards are stacked against him.
The club is 31-30 and, somehow, not out of reach of a top-6 position in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks are just 3.5 games behind the reeling Nets and will also be able to gain serious ground on the Heat this weekend, who are currently seeded #7. However, the Hawks haven’t done anything consistently this season, which still rings true, even after a marvelous couple of games under interim head coach Joe Prunty.
Snyder’s presence should have an immediate impact on several facets of the team. He’s considered an offensive mastermind, pick-and-roll maestro, and a mad scientist when it comes to scheming. Because of his expertise in the pick-and-roll, it should directly impact Trae Young, Dejounte Murray, Clint Capela, Onyeka Okongwu, and John Collins if Snyder implements his system.
Maximizing Young and Murray when they’re both on the court and staggering the minutes is something that is obvious. John Collins has been underperforming, and Saddiq Bey‘s presence in the starting lineup has netted encouraging results. Maybe, JC coming off the bench could be an adjustment Snyder sees as beneficial.
However, with all of that being said, Quin Snyder can’t overwhelm the team. If he bombards the players with information, it can do more harm than good. Despite the playoff-caliber talent on the roster, expectations should be tempered. At most, we should all be cautiously optimistic. The Hawks will square off with the Wizards tonight for the first time under Quin Snyder.