Atlanta Hawks: 3 goals for Onyeka Okongwu in the 2021-22 season

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports /

Goals for Atlanta Hawks sophomore Onyeka Okongwu No. 2) Get 18 minutes per game.

In the 16 games prior to the All-Star break, Okongwu averaged only 10.0 minutes per game. With the exception of a couple of games, all of these were under head coach Lloyd Pierce. He averaged 3.2 points and 2.4 rebounds per game, shooting the ball at 56.3 percent from the floor.

After the All-Star break, Okongwu averaged 13.0 minutes per game. He increased his points to 5.2 per game and his rebounds to 3.6 per game. He also shot the ball a lot better, going at 67.0 percent from the floor. Ass he garnered more court time, Okongwu became more effective.

A lot of this has to do with the confidence that Okongwu developed within himself. If you are given time on a team that is contending for a playoff spot like the Hawks were last season allowed the rookie to believe in himself a little more. It also allowed his more experienced teammates to develop confidence in the rookie.

Now that he has proven that he is capable of playing at an NBA level, he needs to start pushing for more time when he can return. If Okongwu can average 18.0 minutes per game then he will give Capela more time on the bench to rest. This will allow both players to defend harder and attack the glass on both ends with more energy.