Previewing the 2020-21 season for the Atlanta Hawks.
It’s a new season to look ahead to. To me, the Atlanta Hawks have taken another step at building a dynasty for the future to come. As December 23 approaches soon, the Hawks will be driven to capture a playoff spot through the 72 games.
First, let’s look into the young guys who are looking to take an extra step. Trae Young and John Collins have the green light to really lead this team. The both of them having the mindset to be on the same page can make a difference for this Hawks team.
Young took a huge leap last season by improving by more than 10 points per game from his rookie year. Collins’ suspension allowed him to be overlooked, but he still managed to average 21 points and 10 rebounds per contest. These two are the driving forces for Atlanta and they will have to continue to spark the team going forward.
No worries, Young and Collins have help behind them. Young’s backcourt mate in Kevin Huerter has shown to be a tremendous spot-up shooter and takes immense pressure off Young. Other guys in Cam Reddish, De’Andre Hunter, Onyeka Okongwu, and others.
The important aspect of the Hawks roster is the youth. Young legs through a rough 72 game season will be key in their advantage. Coach Pierce will figure out a way to navigate the young player and utilize their talent to the success of the team.
The other great thing about the Hawks this season is they have seasoned veterans to join the young guys. Last season, the team had minimum vets to make a difference. The main veteran who was around the younger players was Vince Carter who was unfortunately on his way out to retirement.
The Hawks brought in two-time NBA champion Rajon Rondo. Rondo is known for his phenomenal basketball IQ and can run the floor better than most. I wouldn’t be shocked if Coach Pierce decided to run both Rondo and Young in stretches of the game. Rondo has a chance to compliment the young guys in a tremendous way. He can leave them with an impact that can help them for the rest of their careers.
Clint Capela is another key veteran who can contribute right away. Due to injuries and the season being suspended, he never had the chance to showcase what he could provide last season after being traded for. Now, it is a new year with a new opportunity to be an enforcer under the rim. Capela will take immense pressure off John Collins, which will allow him to space the floor and be effective on offense. Capela’s rim protection and rebounding will be a huge part in the Hawks’ quest for a playoff position.
And lastly, Bogdan Bogdanovic will be another veteran contributor on the Hawks roster. It will be difficult for Lloyd Pierce to rotate all of his gifted wing players. Bogdanovic provides great perimeter shooting and can come big in clutch situations.
He is a career 37% three-point shooter and torches defenders with his high accuracy from range. Bogdanovic’s presence on the floor can be felt in a positive manner going into this season. Don’t be surprised if we watch him in the lineup to close the game out for Atlanta.
Looking into this season, the East has gotten tougher. But there is still a chance the Hawks can get into the playoffs this year. They have the talent and leadership on the team that can guide them through the best teams in the conference. There has to be one team who can surprise the NBA this season. Why not the Hawks? This is an opportunity for the team to rise to the occasion and start the season out with high intensity basketball.
Although the Atlanta Hawks are still likely years away from championship contention, they still have a possibility to win around 40-45 games this season. There’s a chance they can fight with teams in the Wizards, Heat, etc. for a 6th-8th spot in the playoff race. It’s all about how the team starts out the season and how they turn things up a notch towards the end of the year. Consistency will be big for the Atlanta Hawks this season. There can’t be many slip-ups that revolve around the team this year.
If Atlanta lands a playoff spot (which I predict they do), they may give a top seed a hard time in the first round. The dynamic of Young, Collins, and others just may be too much to handle for some teams. Their terrific execution on both ends could put them in a good position to be successful in the postseason. But it all starts with how they flow together throughout the regular season.