Atlanta Hawks: What we learned about Solomon Hill in the bubble

Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

Solomon Hill is going to have an impact on the defensive end for the Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks signed Solomon Hill to a very small contract this offseason, an ancillary move to the flurry of transactions the Hawks made to better their roster this summer.

While he won’t have the same impact as Bogdan Bogdanovic will in a new environment, at just one year and a little over $2 million, Hill could have some bang for his buck.

Hill, though, could serve a purpose in lineups where the Hawks seek extra defensive strength, something their personnel will afford them much more in this season than it has in the past few.

Though his minutes were limited in the Orlando restart this past year, there were some encouraging moments in both the regular season return-to-play as well as the NBA Finals.

While no sweeping generalizations or conclusions should necessarily be taken from those performances, Hill’s minutes will likely be limited in Atlanta. His impact will be felt in short chunks of time, so there is some validity in evaluating how he performed in low-usage situations to close out 2019-20.

Related Story. Will Onyeka Okongwu be worth it?. light

Atlanta Hawks: Solomon Hill’s defense was on display in Orlando

The Miami Heat lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of the Finals, 116-98. An 18-point loss in the Finals is fairly convincing.

Hill was one of three Heat players with a positive plus/minus that game. While plus/minus throughout a single game absolutely must be taken with a grain of salt, it’s easy to see why Miami found success with Hill on the floor — His defense.

Whether it was walling off a nearly Finals MVP-Anthony Davis, or helping a rookie defend LeBron James, or doing the impossible and stopping an explosive James in a fast break, Hill did it all.

Hill isn’t easily deceived as a team defender. With Caruso trying to slip past him here, you can’t slight Hill if he tries to stop him first at the rim. He reacts quickly and closes out strong on a Danny Green 3-point attempt.

The Hawks desperately need a bruiser if, for even just a few minutes, they need to shut down a star or make their life a bit more difficult. Someone who isn’t afraid to get physical (and have the awareness to not foul) with someone like Giannis Antetokounmpo. Maybe like this?

Hill’s defensive awareness and intelligence, physical profile, and ability to switch will be a key tool in Atlanta’s kit. While his experience deep in the postseason was limited (and with no fans), it doesn’t hurt for him to be able to bring that to the table as well.

Solomon Hill isn’t going to have impacts in large volumes, but incrementally and situationally he’ll be an incredible piece for Lloyd Pierce to work with, mostly on defense. Hill is the type of player that most casual fans won’t notice, but his impact and bailiwick is important. He’s one of many great additions this summer. He keeps the books flexible for the future while boosting the toolkit that the team has to work with.

dark. Next. 15 best scorers in Hawks history