Atlanta Hawks: 3 goals for Gorgui Dieng in the 2021-22 season

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports /
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Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports /

Goals for Atlanta Hawks big man Gorgui Dieng No. 3) Lead the second unit’s defense.

Last season the Hawks’ second unit was surprisingly good on the defensive end. This was due to the improved defensive effort of Kevin Huerter, Solomon Hill, Tony Snell, and the incredible work of the rookie Okongwu.

Okongwu’s energy and effort at this end of the court were simply incredible. During the Eastern Conference Finals, he made some tremendous plays to stop the eventual Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. He was one of the few players towards the end of the playoffs who could stop Antetokounmpo.

Now that he is out, it is now up to Dieng to take over the mantle of the defensive leader for the second unit. It is not like he struggles at this end of the floor. He took the Minnesota Timberwolves from a sieve to the best in the NBA during a 12 game stint when Karl-Anthony Towns was out during the season interrupted by COVID-19.

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This means that when Okongwu comes back, he is going to be able to slip into the second unit and defend next to Dieng. This is going to make the Hawks even tougher to play against and should lead them to greater glory at the end of the season.