Atlanta Hawks: Hoops Habit Explores Players Facing Most Pressure

Kent Bazemore #24 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kent Bazemore #24 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

FanSided’s Hoops Habit outlet has delved into the players on the Atlanta Hawks that are facing the most pressure in the 2018-19 season.

As media day continues, let’s take a look at a recent story that was published that explored the three players on the Atlanta Hawks that are facing the most pressure during the 2018-19 season.

The story, written by Daniel Lindsey at FanSided’s Hoops Habit, outlines the following three players on the Hawks that are facing the most pressure: John Collins, Kent Bazemore and Trae Young.

Certainly, the young players on the Atlanta Hawks have the entire fate of the franchise resting on their unseasoned shoulders. Collins, in particular, looked tremendous in his rookie year, but he wasn’t asked to do a huge amount on either end of the floor either. Despite his light responsibilities, he excelled in his role as a vicious pick-and-roll finisher as well as an adept rebounder – with a focus on offensive rebounding.

Going forward, many Atlanta Hawks fans see “Human Highlight Reel 2.0” potential in Collins, since the Hawks haven’t had a dunker this dynamic since the days of Josh Smith. Also, Collins has plenty of upside left to explore, so there’s no surprise that he is listed as having a lot of pressure on him during next season.

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There can also be no qualms about Trae Young facing the most pressure on the team. Even if the Hawks hadn’t traded for Young on draft night, drafting him 3rd overall (ahead of other viable candidates) would’ve been met with even more scrutiny than trading for him.

As a polarizing and fascinating prospect in the build-up to the NBA Draft, many pundits were split on Young’s potential. Clearly, Atlanta Hawks GM Travis Schlenk and Hawks brass were in agreement: They believe Young is a future superstar and can turn Atlanta into the basketball powerhouse it deserves to be.

Clearly, almost explicitly naming Young as the savior of the franchise is a ton of pressure for a 20-year-old to deal with, and we shall see how Ice Trae handles it in his rookie season – combined with the 82-game slog of a full season.

Lastly, Kent Bazemore is listed as the player facing the second-most pressure on the Atlanta Hawks, and here is where our paths diverge. Though Baze is facing some pressure, I would venture to say that any number of young players are facing more.

Bazemore is very likely to be traded during the regular season, so as long as he keeps up his strong level of play from last season (and there’s no reason to believe otherwise), he will be able to defend well, shoot the three-ball at a strong clip and generally make the right play whenever he’s called upon to do so.

He will likely not lose his value as a trade chip unless he gets injured, so the pressure, for the most part, is off of Baze.

Many other younger players, such as Taurean Prince, DeAndre’ Bembry and Omari Spellman are likely facing more pressure in this upcoming season in Atlanta than Bazemore is. His role is quite stable, and the only thing that’s unknown about his future is how long he will remain on the Hawks.

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