The Atlanta Hawks need to change their attitude towards playing their rookies

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Hawks season is in a very precarious position after their loss to the LA Clippers. This was the final game of their 6-game road trip. Incidentally, this was the longest road trip of the season and the Hawks went 2-4 on it, which is better than their previous longest which they went 0-5.

Naturally, the Hawks are going to want to have their best players on the court in order to win. However, at the moment it is not working and as a result, the Hawks seem to be spiraling towards the bottom of the standings.

Therefore it is time for the Hawks to change their rotations, to put different players out onto the court to change up how teams can defend them. With players getting injured such as Solomon Hill, De’Andre Hunter, and now Cam Reddish with his repetitive ankle issues the Hawks’ options are becoming very limited.

This is why the Atlanta Hawks need to play their rookies

One difficulty for the Hawks rookies getting any real game time is that head coach Nate McMillan is reluctant to play rookies until he believes that they are ready. Last season from the first week that he took over, McMillan started to develop Onyeka Okongwu.

This season the Hawks have two rookies who have the potential to help the Hawks this season, they are Jalen Johnson and Sharife Cooper. Both of these players have been developing in the G League but with the College Park Skyhawks losing culture, there were some questions about whether this was the right place for the rookies to develop.

The biggest clue for the Hawks of how the rookies could impact the team is the performance of Skylar Mays. The second-year, two-way contracted player has grasped every opportunity that has come his way this season.

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Right now the Hawks have nothing to lose. They are currently out of the play-in race, let alone the playoff race. What they are doing is not working so it is time to change the script. Developing Johnson and Coopers needs to become a priority that may help the Hawks start winning again.