Atlanta Hawks Must Limit Turnovers and Fouls in 2019-20

Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /

As we gear up for the 2019-20 preseason and regular season, let’s look at two areas of improvement for the Atlanta Hawks.

The Atlanta Hawks were a far more entertaining team in 2018-19 than they were the season prior, but they still only produced at the level of a roughly 25-win team – which was their exact win total from that listless and dull 2017-18 campaign.

Perhaps two of the things dragging the team down last season was the team’s propensity for coughing the ball via turnover or committing senseless fouls.

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According to The Athletic, the Hawks were first in the league as a team in turnovers with a whopping 1363 – nearly 120 more than the second-place Los Angeles Lakers at 1246.

Though Trae Young was the main offender (with 308 turnovers last year, 3rd in the NBA), DeAndre’ Bembry (142), Kent Bazemore (121) and Taurean Prince (100) were also not shy about giving the ball to the opposing team.

Of course, those players were often tasked with creating the most offense for the team on a possession-to-possession basis, so turnovers will likely follow with that being the case.

When it comes to fouling, John Collins (an absolute foul-committing magnet in his first season) actually lowered his total fouls from 215 in his rookie year, which was top 20 in the NBA, to 199 last season with a far heftier minutes load.

Even with Collins curtailing his handsy defending, the Atlanta Hawks finished dead last in total fouls with 1932 – tied with the Phoenix Suns for last in the league.

In order for the Hawks to “get out of their own way” during the 2019-20 season, they must hope to control the turnovers and fouls, as the team is only shooting itself in the foot when the commit these costly mistakes.

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Simply remember the final game of the regular season last year against the Indiana Pacers, when the Hawks committed a three-shot foul after Prince had drilled what appeared to be a game-winner. The Pacers hit all three free throws, and the Hawks lost. Let’s not repeat that next year, gents!