Atlanta Hawks: The benefits of Nate McMillan and his structure

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Hawks have turned a corner on the season since they appointed their interim head coach Nate McMillan. Such is the character of the man that he would not take the job unless he had the blessing of previous head coach, Lloyd Pierce.

Thankfully McMillan took the job and the franchise is heading in the right direction. They won their first eight games under his direction, and despite being on an extended West Coast road trip, they are still 15-4 under McMillian’s guidance. As a result, the Hawks are fifth in the East, moving up from 11th which is where they were when Pierce was fired.

Watching the team is like night and day. Pierce did not have a great deal of structure which is why the newer players struggled to fit in. Bogdan Bogdanovic struggled with his shot before his injury, and after coming back, thanks in large part to the structure of McMillan.

The Atlanta Hawks have responded to Nate McMillan

More from Soaring Down South

The Hawks have stopped having as many fadeouts at the end of quarters. This is in big part to the fact that McMillan has the players playing his style of basketball. He has his players running sets, the second unit is working the pick and roll with great effectiveness since he took over.

He has also got a better feel for momentum shifts in the game. His timeout calls are usually at the time when the Hawks are losing their momentum and he draws up a play or puts in a player who is going to change the flow of the game.

McMillian has done such a good job with the Hawks that he was named the Eastern Conference coach of the month. As the interim coach who has only just taken over the reins of the franchise, this is a monumental achievement. As the season progresses, McMillan will have a greater influence on how the team plays which will make them even better.

Next. 4 questions answered on the recent road trip. dark