Atlanta Hawks: Grading the rookie season of Onyeka Okongwu

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

Atlanta Hawks season highlights for Onyeka Okongwu

Two of the biggest highlights for Okongwu actually happened in the postseason. Firstly he was playing in the big comeback against the Philadelphia 76ers where Lou Williams took over the game. Okongwu played with energy and effort, thwarting the 76ers players’ attempts to score.

He actually had three games in the series where he had a plus-nine or greater impact on the box score. This was a massive part of the Hawks taking the series and advancing to the next round.

Then, during the Eastern Conference Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks, Okongwu did what neither Capela nor John Collins could do. He shut Giannis Antetokounmpo down when he was on the court. It was a sight to see and a really good experience for the rookie.

The rookie also had two double-doubles which is impressive considering that he was fighting for minutes with the more experienced Capela, Collins, and Danilo Gallinari. The first was against the Memphis Grizzlies where he started in place of Capela. Unfortunately, the Hawks would lose this game.

However, the final game of the season against the Houston Rockets was huge for the rookie. He had 21 points and 15 rebounds which is such an impressive performance. However, he had three assists, two steals, and two blocks which showed a little of what Okongwu is capable of.