3 goals for Atlanta Hawks rookie AJ Griffin in the 2022-23 season

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /
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Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

Goals for Atlanta Hawks rookie AJ Griffin for the season: No. 2 – Break into the rotation.

Once he has established himself at training camp, as mentioned earlier, the real work then begins. Nate McMillan is a rather conservative coach, he tends to go with more experienced players rather than rookies to get the job done.

Griffin has the chance to change this. If he shows a willingness to learn on the defensive end of the floor, and the ability to make 3-point shots at a high level, he will garner playing time. McMillan has shown in the past that if a rookie deserves playing time as Onyeka Okongwu did, the coach will give it to him.

However, it is not as simple as all that to keep your minutes. You have to fit into what the team wants and be consistent. Last season, after he was traded from the New York Knicks, Kevin Knox took ownership of his role and was helpful to the Hawks’ cause.

Unfortunately, he was not good enough to keep the players out of the rotation when they came back from injury so he went back to his bench warming role. Griffin needs to find his fit, aided by the coaching staff and others, before showing why the Hawks can’t do without him on the floor.