Hawks: Travis Schlenk did a masterful job of building the groundwork for sustained success

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The Hawks had one of the worst starts to the season under Lloyd Pierce after shattering records on opening night against the Bulls, but Atlanta has turned a serious corner since Nate McMillan took over. Since March 1st, the Hawks are 20-7 and have won 11 of their past 14 games. Most of that has come without the meat of their roster.

However, not all of these additions came at the same time. The pieces began falling into place last season when Clint Capela was acquired for Evan Turner and a first-round pick, and he’s rewarded the Hawks with over 15 points and 14 rebounds per game while rating as a top-five defender via RAPTOR.

This offseason, the Hawks gave Bogdan Bogdanović a lucrative contract after a comedy of errors by the Kings. After a proposed sign-and-trade fell through with Milwaukee, the Kings didn’t match the Hawks’ offer sheet and even turned down a first-round pick in a sign-and-trade. He’s been going off since returning from injury.

On top of Bogdanović playing so well, Danilo Gallinari has shot over 40% from beyond the arc when he’s been healthy. Since acquired from Detroit, Tony Snell has also been a gem; he has been insanely efficient — shooting an unprecedented 51.7/57.1/100. Solomon Hill has been solid, and undrafted free agents Nathan Knight and Brandon Goodwin have also shined and filled critical roles.

Finally, swapping Rajon Rondo for Lou Williams has turned out to pay off big time. Against the Bucks last night, Williams took over.

Even with nothing close to resembling a fully healthy roster, the Hawks are half of a game out of the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. I want everyone to be ready to go for the playoffs because I promise, with a full squad, nobody in the NBA wants to play this team right now.

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