Atlanta Hawks: How can Kevin Huerter become a starter this season

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks have a starting five which appears to be set. However, there is always the ability to improve on every aspect of a player’s game, and therefore the starting lineup should never be just set in stone, it is a fluid, live thing that needs to be tweaked all the time.

As such, while the Hawks starting lineup appears to be set in stone with Clint Capela and John Collins as the starting frontcourt. They have De’Andre Hunter and Bogdan Bogdanovic at the wing and their starting point guard is going to be Trae Young as long as he is healthy.

However, given that Hunter missed the majority of last season with a knee injury and had to have surgery on it at the end of the season, there’s always a chance to take this spot. Kevin Hurter also has the ability to play the two-guard role but it would appear very unlikely that Bogdanovic will be moved from the starting role.

The Atlanta Hawks could benefit if Kevin Huerter became a better defender.

While Huerter’s defense improved out of sight last season, he is still not as good as Hunter, when he is fully healthy. However, what Huerter can offer the team is exceptional. He is able to score in bunches as he showed in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.

He is a tremendous offensive player with the ability to score on all three levels, which is very similar to Hunter. The difference is that Hunter is very capable of taking the best offensive wing every night that he plays.

Huerter led the teams in steals last season which was made possible by the two best wing defenders, Hunter and Cam Reddish not being on the floor for large parts of the season. Take nothing away from Huerter though, he surprised the entire league with how he defended.

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It is unlikely that Huerter will replace Hunter in the starting lineup, but if he is able to it is only because his defense has gone to the next level. If this happened then the Hawks would have to be at least an Eastern Conference Finals contender.