Atlanta fell to 2-5 on the season, losing their third straight on Tuesday night in Cleveland, where Trae Young dropped 35 points and 11 assists a little over a week ago in a winning effort. The Hawks followed that up with a thrilling 26-point comeback win in their home-opener. Hopefully, we all took a moment to enjoy that because that might be the most exciting two-game stretch Atlanta has all season. These last three games are more of what the Hawks are going to look like for the majority of the season.
The Hawks struggled to score in losses to the Bulls and the Sixers, combining for 177 points in the two games. Considering the amount of scoring going on in the NBA right now, that’s pretty damn awful but has to be expected at times with this group. With John Collins missing, Trae Young is the only player that is consistently putting up double-digits. Taurean Prince and Kent Bazemore are the next closest thing, but neither has proven to be a consistent enough scorer on a nightly basis. Beyond that, the Hawks’ options are pretty bleak offensively. There will be nights where Young or Bazemore gets hot, and the rest of the team can feed off of it, but there are going to be a lot more games where Atlanta struggles to find a rhythm.
In their most recent loss against Cleveland, Atlanta gave up a ridiculous 136 points to a starting lineup consisting of Sam Dekker, Rodney Hood, George Hill, Cedi Osman, and Tristan Thompson. That offensive unit should not strike fear into anybody. The defensive effort was as poor as they come, something that has not been uncommon. They allowed 126 points to the Knicks and 131 points to the Grizzlies to open the season.
This is what the Hawks are; a tanking team looking for as many top draft picks as they can find. But that is ok. There is no reason to stop watching now. In today’s NBA, that’s the only way to get to the top, and GM, Travis Schlenk knows that first hand from his time in Golden State.
The Hawks have one of the most exciting young players to watch in Trae Young, and a bevy of young talent around him that could eventually blossom into something special. This is just the first wave of prospects with a lot more waiting around the corner. Eventually, Atlanta is going to land a superstar or two or three of them through this process. That should be enough to get everyone in the ATL amped, a city that hasn’t seen a true NBA superstar since Dominique Wilkins was traded.