Atlanta Hawks Expertly Distributing the Ball

Mar 27, 2013; Toronto, ON, Canada; Atlanta Hawks point guard Jeff Teague (0) advances the ball against the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Passing, passing, passing.

That’s the word that comes most up when mentioning the strengths of the Atlanta Hawks.

They are currently 1st in the East with 24.6 assists per game and are continuously distributing the ball with ease. The overall team passing has improved from last season with the number of assists jumping up from 22.4 per game. The opportunity for easy baskets has also helped out the field goal percentage. Their average shooting percentage went up from 45.4% to 46.5%.

What’s even more impressive (deservedly so, considering this years roster) is the impact that precision passing has had on three-point shooting. The Hawks are shooting 37.9% from deep this season, good for 4th in the league, behind only the sharp-shooters from Golden State, South Beach, and the Alamo city.

As mentioned in my previous two-part series on Jeff Teague (which you can read here and here), the ability to pass in the fastbreak has really helped the Hawks get easy baskets this season. Kyle Korver and the other ATL shooters have done an excellent job leaking out to the corner or wing-3 for easy transition buckets.

In their last 10 games, in which they have gone 6-4, the Hawks are averaging 25.0 assists a game.

For the 40 wins this season, ATL is averaging 26.4 assists, while only 22.3 assists in their 32 losses. However, their offensive rating of 104.7 is only 19th in the league, which I found to be surprising based on their excellent three-point shooting and assist averages.

To take a look at one player who struggles creating his own shot — Kyle Korver depends heavily on accurate passes in both the half-court and on the run. In fact, 98% of his made shots this season have come thanks to the passes of his teammates.

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