Hawks’ Dewayne Dedmon Has Picked Up Right Where He Left Off

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 25: Dewayne Dedmon
ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 25: Dewayne Dedmon /

After a strong start to the 2017-18 NBA season for the Atlanta Hawks, Dewayne Dedmon suffered a stress reaction in his left tibia in late November and did not play again until early January.

Before that unfortunate injury, Dedmon had carved out an impressive niche as the Hawks’ best pure center. While Miles Plumlee filled in during Dedmon’s extended absence and John Collins was able to continue his development during that period, the Hawks morph into a completely different team when Dedmon is on the floor.

Dedmon’s per-game averages, while not eye-popping, make him one of the Hawks’ most consistent and all-around valuable players. In 38 games played, DD is averaging 10.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.7 blocks and 0.5 steals in 23.4 minutes per night.

Among Atlanta’s big men, Dedmon is the only true 7-footer on a roster starved for size at almost every position.

While Collins has successfully showcased a nose for the ball when it comes to searching out offensive rebounds, his 6’10”, 235-pound frame is just a bit too skinny to really bang inside with the largest NBA bodies.

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Sure, Dedmon is quite thin for a 7-footer as well, but his immense wingspan and leaping ability allows him to soar for rebounds, and he has actually overtaken Collins in total rebounding percentage for Atlanta.

Collins had continued to lead the Hawks in that category (and is still 16th in the league with an 18% total rebound percentage), but Dedmon now has an 18.3% total rebound percentage – headlined by a huge 28.1% defensive rebound percentage.

It must be noted that Dedmon has played over 200 minutes less than JC due to his injury troubles, but he is only 2 defensive rebounds behind Collins for the team lead (JC with 219, Dedmon with 217).

Another area where Dedmon has shone is his sky-high offensive efficiency. Dedmon has the second-highest true shooting percentage on the Hawks with a 63.1% behind only Mike Muscala’s muscular 64.5% – in about 450 minutes less – and just ahead of John Collins’s 62.5%

Dedmon also performs well in the catch-all Player Efficiency Rating stat, which is an estimate of a player’s overall effectiveness on a minute-to-minute basis. Dewayne ranks third on the Hawks with a strong 17.3 PER – behind only Collins (20.0 PER) and Dennis Schröder (17.9 PER).

A revelatory aspect of Dedmon’s game has been his three-point stroke, which was heretofore unexplored in his career. This season, DD’s stretch-five tendencies have fully come to the forefront as he has attempted 72 three-pointers and drilled 28 of them – good for an awesome 38.9% shooting percentage from downtown.

Dedmon’s full skill set was on display in the Hawks’ recent home win against the Detroit Pistons, as he dominated the game on the way to a career-high-tying 20 points and 13 rebounds. DD got up for 2 thunderous dunks (one a poster job on Reggie Bullock) and he drilled his only three-point attempt of the night in a critical moment for Atlanta – a corner three late in the 4th quarter that gave Atlanta a lead they would never lose.

Though it is unlikely that Dedmon will remain on the team next season due to the second year of his 2 year/$14 million being a player option, he has definitely been an important player for Atlanta this season in his first featured role as a major part of a team’s success.

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But let’s hope he stays, as he seems like a strong leader for a young team trying to find as many positive contributors as possible on the way to a clear top-five draft pick in the 2018 NBA draft.