Atlanta Hawks rookie Jalen Johnson and the impact of his near triple-double

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Hawks appear to have got themselves a good one when they selected the multi-dimensional talent that is Jalen Johnson. While he is struggling to get minutes with the varsity squad, he is a key member of the Hawks G League affiliate, the College Park Skyhawks.

He has struggled with his efficiency at the start of the season, he powered back and the Raptors 905 team to collect 23 points on 9 of 17 shooting including 2-of-4 from beyond the arc. This is a good uptick in his efficiency so far this season, which was helped out by the rest of the team. Three players had 20 points or more and seven players scored in double digits overall.

However, Johnson is not all about the scoring. He fills the box score every night and has a way of bringing other players into the game in a way that is rare for someone his size. To go along with his points, Johnson had 13 rebounds, seven assists, three blocks, and two steals. It was a performance that helped the Skyhawks to their second win of the season.

If Jalen Johnson can keep this up he will be playing minutes for the Atlanta Hawks.

The Hawks are still suffering through a massive injury crisis. While they have Cam Reddish back in uniform and the Bogdan Bogdanovic news is encouraging, they still appear to be running out of legs at the end of games. Their fourth-quarter fadeouts are becoming a significant problem.

Johnson’s athleticism and energy could really help the Hawks in this regard. He is playing significant minutes for the Skyhawks and while this does not strain the body as much as the NBA, he does not appear to be slowing down any time soon.

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Coach Nate McMillan could use Johnson at the end of the first quarter and at the start of the second. He could then give him similar minutes at the end of the third and the start of the fourth, this could help alleviate some of the issues with fading in the last. We won’t know unless the Hawks’ brains trust tries this, they have nothing to lose with this calculated gamble.