Atlanta Hawks: Gorgui Dieng has a good tune up for the season

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports /

Over the off-season, the Atlanta Hawks signed Gorgui Dieng to a single-season deal. This signing has the potential to have playoff implications depending on who the Hawks face throughout their postseason run. Dieng is a solid defender who can also shoot the ball well from the perimeter.

The Hawks originally signed Dieng to soak up some of the reserve minutes which have opened up. This is due to the shoulder surgery which Onyeka Okongwu had to have which is going to cause him to miss the first three months of the season.

This signing has hopefully addressed one of the weaknesses of the Hawks from last season, the backup center position. This was especially exposed when Clint Capela was struggling against Joel Embiid and Okongwu was just too small to trouble the man-mountain.

The Atlanta Hawks newly signed Gorgui Dieng had a tremendous AfroBasket tournament

While some players had the Olympics that they used to stay loose prior to a two-month break, Gorgui Dieng had Afro-Basket. The Senegalese big man had a tremendous tournament, being named to the All-Tournament team.

Dieng led the Senegal Lions to third place in the tournament with Dieng coming up big in the third-place matchup, scoring 30 points and collecting 12 rebounds in the Lions’ final game of the tournament. It shows that Dieng does not shy away from the big moments.

Dieng led the tournament ins scoring with 120 total points which meant that he averaged 20.0 points per game, again the top number in the tournament. Dieng was the second-leading rebounder with 10.5 per game.

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This highlights that Dieng will potentially have a much greater impact on the Hawks’ fate than first thought when he was signed. He is a quality player as shown by being named in the best five in the entire African tournament. We will watch him with interest all season long.