3 goals for Atlanta Hawks sophomore forward Jalen Johnson

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Casey Sykes/Getty Images) /

3 goals for Atlanta Hawks’ sophomore Jalen Johnson No. 2) Take on a role and own it.

As mentioned earlier, the Hawks need to follow the right development path for Johnson. The way that McMillan likes to develop his younger players is to send them out with a task and then wait until he has mastered that to McMillan’s satisfaction before the coach gives him another.

For Johnson, who has such an amazing ability to fill up the box score, he needs to have complete focus on one skill for him to give the team an advantage. Given that the Hawks lost Danilo Gallinari via trade over the offseason, it would be sensible for Johnson to take one of the veterans’ roles from last season.

If Johnson is going to garner playing time over the newly signed Frank Kaminsky, he needs to offer the second unit most of the 4.7 rebounds per game that Gallinari gave the squad. If he takes on the role of finishing the defensive possession then he will be able to do more on the offensive end.

This is where he needs to take another leaf out of Gallinari’s playbook. The second unit basically played through the big Italian last season, he touched the ball on most offensive possessions. Johnson is a tremendous playmaker who the Skyhawks played through last season. If he can own that role for the second unit, he will enjoy more playing time.