The Atlanta Hawks have a situation that they have not had in a long time. With the exception of Bogdan Bogdanovic who is not expected to be 100 percent fit for the pre-season, the rest of the squad is healthy and ready to start training camp. This is the total opposite of the situation from last season.
The good thing for the Hawks is they have had their core group together in Atlanta with the majority of them playing 5-on-5 pickup ball. While they have not had the benefit of any coaches with them as the season has not started yet, this is crucial for building chemistry.
This was a goal for the teams last season but they were unable to achieve it due to the Hawks having their Eastern Conference Finals run from the season before. Thanks to Covid the season before, there was also a shortened offseason. The number of injuries that the Hawks had to rehab was insurmountable and they started the season on the back foot and never recovered.
What is the impact of the Atlanta Hawks being fully healthy at training camp?
It was questionable over the offseason whether they would have their full team available at the start of the 2022-23 season. There was the thought that Bogdanovic may miss the start of the season thanks to his knee procedure but he is nearing the final staging of his rehabilitation.
Likewise, Jalen Johnson had a non-surgical procedure that kept him out of last Summer League and AJ Griffin also missed the Las Vegas spectacular with a mystery foot issue. General manager Landry Fields confirmed that both of these guys are good to go. The same goes for John Collins and his finger which still looks pretty bad but has full functionality in terms of basketball.
What it all means though is that the Hawks can start to prepare their season before it happens as opposed to rolling with the punches as they had to last season. How can a team hope to compete in a loaded Eastern Conference if they can’t get their best team on the floor from before the season starts until the turn of the New Year?
While it is a level of chemistry that can be attained, it is also understanding how each player’s skill set can impact how the team plays. If Johnson is not in training camp then the Hawks are missing a valuable evaluation tool of how he plays. This can impact his whole season and therefore the Hawks’ season.
With the Atlanta Hawks having everyone available means they can gain the best understanding of each other. It should mean that they have a better run to the playoffs this season if they stay that way.