Looking for positives in the Atlanta Hawks’ season potentially being over.
After the NBA announced on March 12 that the league will be temporarily suspending the season in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, negative conversation and “it’s the end of the world” theories began floating around social media. If the NBA season does jump right into the playoffs when it is safe to resume action, we all know that our beloved Atlanta Hawks and their 20-47 record will be finished for this season. For Hawks fans, I have thought of a few “bright sides” to the possible situation, which we’ll take a look at below:
The Hawks wouldn’t have made playoffs anyway:
This may be bitter sweet but we have to keep it real. The Hawks wouldn’t have made the playoffs even if the season was still going on. The team sits 14th in the Eastern Conference and with four highly competitive teams still on their schedule (76ers, Thunder, Bucks, & Raptors), let’s not pretend that there was a chance the team was going to win the rest of the season out.
Now, the team can take this time to rest instead of having to play out a losing season and risk injury to someone on the roster. And for players already battling injury, like Clint Capela and Skal Labissiere, they can take this time to rest even further without anyone questioning when they will make their debut or return.
Fully focus on player and chemistry development for next season
NBA teams are still allowed to practice during the suspension, which is an excellent time for the Hawks to build deeper chemistry and development with the young talent and new additions that were added before the trade deadline. Rookies Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter have both been ending this season trending in an upward fashion. Hunter is averaging 12 points and five rebounds this season while Reddish is recording 11 points and 4 rebounds on the season. Just when fans (and haters) were insisting that the rookies may have been overrated out of college, they both began to prove their worth on the roster.
Dewayne Dedmon was acquired by the Hawks in a trade with the Sacramento Kings that sent Jabari Parker and Alex Len to the Kings. In 10 games with the Hawks, Dedmon has made eight starts and is averaging eight points, eight rebounds, and two steals per game. With this break he can continue to work on his game and get back in a rhythm with his old teammates
Former two-way player, Brandon Goodwin, signed a multi-year contract with the Hawks in February after his impressive effort playing back-up point guard when Trae Young suffered an ankle injury versus the Bucks back in December. Goodwin had a standout game in the win against the Clippers on Jan 22 where he scored 12 points in the fourth quarter alone. During this time off he can continue to develop his game and prove his worth to the Hawks in practice.
The fans probably won’t miss out on opposing stars because the Hawks are a perfect team to load manage against
Even though the Hawks wouldn’t have made the playoffs, fans will still miss rooting for this team in the final stretch of the season. One positive way to comfort this loss of Atlanta basketball is remember the fact that teams more than likely would have been load managing against the Hawks anyway. So we might not have been seeing the best basketball we would have wanted. The Bucks and Raptors, two teams that were left on the schedule, have already clinched a playoff berth so we would expect to see stars like Giannis Antetokounmpo or Pascal Siakam taking a rest when facing a bottom-seeded Hawks team.
Vince has already hit the perfect send off
Vince Carter checked in with seconds left in an OT game against the Knicks and knocked down a deep three point bucket. This game was on March 11, the last day NBA games were played and very well could be the last game Vince Carter will play in his 22 year NBA career if the season goes directly to the playoffs when it resumes. It would be awesome for fans to see Carter’s last play be a thrilling one: