Atlanta Hawks: Danilo Gallinari is the missing big man

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks are missing solid big man production off the bench. This issue will be resolved when Danilo Gallinari returns from his ankle injury.

During the previous game against the Charlotte Hornets, the Atlanta Hawks had issues when Clint Capela went to the bench. They turned to two-way player Nathan Knight to provide an offensive spark off the bench. The reason for this is Knight had provided 14 points in under nine minutes in a previous game against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Against the Hornets Knight was only able to break up a full-court pass and miss a 3-point field goal in just under three minutes. The problem was that the Hawks were minus eight in the box score during the time he was on the court.

For the rest of the night, the Hawks staggered the minutes of John Collins and Clint Capela in an effort to help the Hawks come back, which they almost did. They left Bruno Fernando on the bench because of his inability to generate any offense which is what they desperately needed during the game.

Atlanta Hawks need Danilo Gallinari to be the answer.

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When the Hawks picked up Danilo Gallinari during the offseason, this was an incredible trade. They got a long-time starter in the league for a pair of 2025 second-round draft picks. The OKC Thunder were looking to get something for Gallinari sending him to the Hawks on a sign and trade rather than letting him walk as a free agent.

Standing 6’10”, Gallinari is able to play both the power forward and center positions, so can come on to spell either Collins or Capela. If the Hawks are struggling to score against a zone, he can come into the game and simply change the look of the offense for the team.

He is a career 38.1 percent shooter from deep, having not shot under 40.0 percent for the past two seasons. However, he also has the ability to get to the line if his outside shot is not falling, getting there 5.0 times per game for his career.

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When he gets to the line, Gallinari is a career 87.3 percent shooter. So in situations similar to the Hornets game, Gallinari would be able to come on and be the offensive catalyst. If the Hawks need a defensive presence they can go to Fernando.