The Hawks are going into their first nationally televised game of the season with a new offense that seems to only be getting better as the players adjust to Budenholzer’s system. Atlanta has hit triple digits in all seven games this season and the team has been generally more fun to watch so far. Let’s take an early look at just how the new Hawks’ offense is and compare it to the one we grew accustom to last year.
The headline move of the offseason was replacing Josh Smith with Paul Millsap. It doesn’t take much effort to find that most fans are ok with the absence of Josh and his habits offensively, and the performances from Millsap so far indicate the move may be paying off for the Hawks. Millsap’s 18.6 points per game with 60% true shooting overall has been a positive sign for the Hawks after 7 appearances. However, if anybody had benefited from the changes over the offseason, its Jeff Teague. Teague has fit well in the new system and his stats so far are showing it. Currently, Jeff is averaging a double double a night with 17.1 points and 10.1 assists per game; He finished last season with 14.6 points and 7.2 assists per game, which was already a big step up from his numbers earlier in his NBA career.
Overall, Atlanta is performing well offensively in comparison to the rest of the league. The Hawks are currently tied with the Miami Heat for 1st in assists per game(28.0). Still, the Hawks did perform well last season in this category as they placed 2nd in the league behind the San Antonio Spurs. In addition, there have been noticeable improvements statistically with Budenholzer’s new system in place. The Hawks currently have the lowest Turnover ratio in the NBA with 13.4. The Hawks pace has also seen a bit of an increase, as the team is currently averaging 99.8 possessions per 48 minutes(8th in the NBA), where as they finished with 94.7 last season(13th in the NBA). Another new trend with the system is a growing sense of aggressiveness by the team as a whole, and they are managing to get to the line often with 26 free throw attempts a game so far. Last season, the Hawks were 27th in FTAs per game with 19.7.
To put it all together, the Hawks have a few new weapons to use this season, and will get another when Lou returns. Its still quite early to be trying to place the team as one of the better offenses in the league, but if the trends they are setting continue, they may establish themselves as such. Fans should be looking forward to seeing this offense again as they face the struggling New York Knicks tonight. The national spotlight will hopefully give the Hawks a chance to impress NBA fans from all over.
Topics: Atlanta Hawks