Atlanta Hawks: 5 Team Impressions After 15 Games

Atlanta Hawks (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks first-round draft picks (Photo by Logan Riely/Beam Imagination/Atlanta Braves/Getty Images) /

Rookies Are for Real

While the team has performed quite poorly on both ends of the court, the Atlanta Hawks rookie in 2018-19 have performed far better than almost anyone could have expected.

While Trae Young has suffered some subpar performances in recent games, the early returns for our rookie point guard have been superlative. While his three-point shooting remains mercurial at best, his ability to get to the rim seemingly at will, draw fouls and dish the ball with amazing accuracy and regularity have given Hawks fans plenty of hope.

Among rookies, Ice Trae has almost doubled up his fellow draftmates in total assists and is currently second in scoring. Additionally, among all players Young is actually 3rd in total assists (120), 4th in assists per game (8.0) and 2nd in assist rate (43%) across the entire league.

Kevin Huerter and Omari Spellman have also both shown flashes in their rookie year. The underrated Huerter has provided glimpses of a two-way skill set that’s focused on bombing threes, sprinting in transition and making surprising pinpoint passes. If he can harness some of his inherent talent with any consistency, which he has lacked so far this season, he will be an important piece for the Hawks going forward.

Omari Spellman too has provided some glimpses of what Schlenk and co. saw in him when he was selected 30th overall. A fluid, effortless athlete who seems a bit big-boned still, Spellman has provided some of that natural, bouncy athleticism that the Hawks have lacked all year with John Collins on the bench (more on him later).

Spellman has been a rebound hound in the early portion of this season. Spellman’s 5.6 rebounds per game are second only to Dewayne Dedmon’s 6.2 (in far fewer minutes) and Spellman’s 78 total rebounds only trail Alex Len’s 84.