Two more members of the Atlanta Hawks franchise working out together

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks are a team on a mission. They are one of 30 teams chasing the same mission, an NBA championship. However, they traded to improve their perimeter defense with role players and also added the second star, Dejounte Murray, who is going to help at both ends of the floor.

What the Hawks did a nice job of was keeping together the majority of the core players from last season. This means that they are going to be building on the level of chemistry that they had while only integrating one starter and a few key role players.

This is going to be a key task for the coaching staff over the offseason, leading into training camp and then the preseason. However, the Hawks are also very wary of not putting those needs further forward than the needs of the players coming back. They all need to be able to play together.

These Atlanta Hawks veterans are practicing together this offseason.

Two members of the starting unit, Trae Young and Clint Capela have been practicing together this offseason. This is extremely important for the Hawks that their offensive and defensive leaders get time together on the practice court, potentially helping each other out on both ends of the floor.

While the Hawks are going to have a better perimeter defense, because Young is going to be on the court for the majority of the game, including the clutch times, he needs to be better as well. He is never going to take the best player one-on-one but he can at least block lanes and try to send his offensive player the right way to help. Communication with Capela is crucial for this.

Offensively, apart from offensive rebounds, Capela does not create for himself on offense. His quickness and movement have made him one of Young’s favorite targets in the restricted area. However, he is one of the most important members of the Hawks’ pick-and-roll offense.

For those of us who play local ball, when you set the pick you try and stop the defender by setting a solid pick. In the NBA, these defenders are so athletic, that if you set the pick at a certain angle to suit your man, you give your player another few tenths of a second to get free. Sometimes this is all that you need, especially as Young is so quick.

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While these sound like minor changes, they can make the difference between winning and losing, qualifying for the playoffs against qualifying for the play-in tournament. It is a really good thing that the leaders at either end of the floor are putting in the time together.