Atlanta Hawks: Kevin Huerter’s Finishing Around the Rim is X-Factor

Kevin Huerter Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Kevin Huerter Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images) /

A quick look at one of the weakest skills in Kevin Huerter of the Atlanta Hawks arsenal right now: Finishing around the rim.

Last year, Kevin Huerter of the Atlanta Hawks was one of the most enjoyable players to watch on the team, and he erupted later on in the season to become one of the team’s best players quite quickly. Now, in his second season, Huerter will hopefully start off stronger than he did in his rookie campaign by jumping out of the gate with some striking three-point shooting numbers as well as his excellent playmaking abilities on the perimeter.

Beyond that, Huerter’s defense was rock-solid in his rookie campaign, an area in which he is sure to improve as his career goes in.

However, one of the most important aspects of a backcourt player’s skill set is the ability to get to the rim and finish capably once there.

According to a recent story by Alex Regla of BBall Index, Huerter graded out in the 90th percentile in perimeter shooting last season with an A grade. Red Velvet’s playmaking was also exceptional, with an 89th percentile ranking with an A- grade.

However, despite all that offensive production, his finishing rank was in the lowly 33rd percentile with a D grade. Per Regla’s story, Huerter “shot only 25.1 percent on his runners. He was in the 19th percentile in shots (non post-ups) around the basket, and he was in the 20th percentile on his basket cuts.” All of those numbers pale in comparison to his outside shooting splits.

Regla concludes in his story that Huerter has a good chance to considerably improve his finishing around the rim via the modern offensive system implemented by Atlanta Hawks Head Coach Lloyd Pierce, added creation duties for rookies De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish as well as the continued elite playmaking ability of one of the NBA’s best passers: Trae Young.

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No matter what, Huerter’s 2019-20 Atlanta Hawks season will be a joy to behold, and the regular season can’t get here soon enough.