Hawks: Examining Atlanta’s team defense after the first ten games

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Sitting at 5-5 with a boatload of injuries, the Hawks finally managed to snap their recent skid with a win against the 76ers. Even in the midst of an ugly losing streak, there were some bright spots. Atlanta’s defense was notoriously bad in 2019-2020, but Lloyd Pierce’s squad has made some improvements — and it was clear improving the defense was a must if this team was going to make the playoffs. Losing Bogan Bogdanović for a few months isn’t going to help the defense out. However, not only is Atlanta doing better in the points allowed department — peripheral stats are improving as well.

 

Points Allowed — 12th

Defensive Rebounds — 11th

Rebounds Allowed — 14th

Assists Allowed — 7th

Steals — 28th

Blocks — 28th

Turnovers Created — 29th

3 Pointers Allowed — 3rd

Opponent FG% — 4th

Opponent 3P% — 1st

 

There is a lot to unpack here. Obviously the lower opponent shooting percentages are always welcome, and the rebounding that Clint Capela has provided has undoubtedly given Atlanta a boost. He’s averaging a nutty 13 RPG & has double digit rebounds in seven straight games. I would like to see the steals increase, that’s something I thought Cam Reddish would provide. Granted, when this team is healthy they can play a little more opportunistically on defense. Points have come in bunches for this Hawks team, but when the shots aren’t falling — they have to find a way to win. That’s what good teams do. Getting Tony Snell, Onyeka Okongwu, Kris Dunn, and Rajon Rondo back will help the defense immensely. Danilo Gallinari and Bogdanović getting healthy is critical to improving the offensive flow and taking pressure off of the defense. The Hawks won’t be mistaken for the 2003 Spurs on Defense, but this team is making some serious strides with a lot of key defensive players missing. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but I think we’ll see more of the Hawks that we saw in the first week of the season sooner rather than later.

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