The Hawks have been crippled by COVID protocols worse than any other team in the NBA. They haven’t gotten much help from the NBA, and they have been forced to play multiple games short-handed. However, there is still room for improvement. We’ve seen this Hawks team make a run to the playoffs before, and I have complete faith they can do it again.
Mix Up Rotations
Nate McMillan has taken a small step back this season, but he has been working with limited parts as injuries continue to ravage the Hawks. Regardless, sometimes his mass substitution strategy can cost the Hawks, and they have started to lose control of games they should easily win again. With a full roster, McMillan should experiment with different guys in different roles when making substitutions.
Get The Rookies Valuable Experience
Jalen Johnson and Sharife Cooper aren’t the NBA-ready studs that some thought they would be, but it’s clear there is still plenty of potential there. Some fans are frustrated watching them play in the G-League (before they were forced into action due to COVID), but they are at least playing consistent minutes every day in College Park. With some additions to the roster not working out, I think you can work these guys in more consistently in the NBA.
Easier said than done, and of course, this is to no fault of the Hawks. Atlanta has had injury problems since the beginning of last season, and it seems as soon as one guy gets healthy, another guy is out for two months. Hopefully, De’Andre Hunter is back soon, as Onyeka Okongwu has played great basketball since returning from a shoulder injury. COVID will pass, and as the Hawks get healthier, I think this team will improve. Patience will be key for them.
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