As the Hawks make a playoff push, the club has made several personnel moves to the coaching staff. Quin Snyder has brought in Jeff Watkinson and Steve Klei, according to Lauren L. Williams of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Hawks have added a couple of coaches into the mix. They've added Jeff Watkinson, as well as Steve Klei.
— Lauren L. Williams (@WilliamsLaurenL) March 16, 2023
Williams also noted that Watkinson’s title will be Assistant Coach – Integrative Basketball Development, and Klei will be an Assistant Coach.
The pair worked under Snyder in Utah, and Watkinson spent three years in Atlanta as the Hawks’ head strength and conditioning coach.
With 13 games left, the Hawks don’t have much time to continue to implement new strategies. Atlanta remains outside of the playoffs as the 8th seed, 5.0 games behind the 6th seed Nets. The Hawks probably don’t have enough runway to get out of the play-in, and if they aren’t careful, they could find themselves out of the play-in as well. Atlanta is only 2.5 games ahead of the 11th seed Chicago Bulls.
Quin Snider’s in-season hiring was never going to right this ship. There have been improvements. The offensive production has gotten better, including three-point efficiency. However, the defense has been atrocious. Despite boasting two of the best interior defenders in Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu, the Hawks give up a ton of points in the paint. Moreover, the fast break defense has been nonexistent.
To be fair, Snyder’s task isn’t to salvage this season, regardless of what fans believed when he was initially hired. His goal is to assess the current roster and familiarize himself with the personnel while laying the groundwork for the culture he wants to implement. The Hawks should be able to remain in the play-in, and in a terrible Eastern Conference, they could sneak into the playoffs, but that’s likely where their journey ends.
We are playing for next season.
Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire
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