The Hawks haven’t had the type of season following an Eastern Conference Finals appearance like many had hoped. Nearly at the All-Star break, Atlanta sits five games under .500 and the 12th seed in East. That would mean the Hawks wouldn’t even make the play-in tournament. The defensive problems are apparent, but Danilo Gallinari brought up a different aspect of the team plaguing their performance in an interview with Sky Sports.
*Note: the interview was translated to English using google, so there could be discrepancies in specific verbiage.
The other aspect is that in the point-to-point finals your offensive performance is 84.6 points scored out of 100 possessions, the worst of the whole NBA: do you have any explanation?
“The explanation for this real statistic that sees us in last place in the NBA is because there are no clear hierarchies and clear playing patterns. Last year they were much more defined: at the beginning we were the worst team in the fourth periods, but after the change of coach we have become the best. It’s something we can still do, but we have to improve: when it comes to point-to-point matches, it is essential to know who has the ball and which sets to call.”
The Hawks have no doubt been struggling as a team this year, and Gallinari points to a lack of hierarchies and playing patterns as one of the root issues. Although the defense is suspect and must be improved, the Hawks have been either injured or dealing with COVID-19 absences. It has been difficult for Nate McMillan to nail down the rotations because of the roster volatility. There seems to be a disconnect in the locker room between the players and coaches; Travis Schlenk may have to shake things up.
The Hawks have been mentioned as a team to keep an eye on in any Ben Simmons trade discussions, reported last week by Marc Stein. Most recently, in a report from Shams Charania, Atlanta is indeed in those trade talks; however, the intriguing part is that John Collins could be a centerpiece in the deal as he’s frustrated with his role.