The Atlanta Hawks have shown that they are vulnerable to injury when their starting big man Clint Capela is out. They turn to Onyeka Okongwu who is a tremendous backup but is a little undersized to take on the best big men in the league.
Not only that, he will always play hard defense, which can involve fouling meaning that he cannot stay on the court long enough in some games. This has been a problem for him over his short career. This can then lead to the Hawks being exposed in the middle with John Collins taking minutes at the five or Frank Kaminsky, who has never been a good rebounder or defender even prior to his injury.
Without Capela, the Hawks simply look undersized and they struggled to get a solid rebounding effort from anyone other than Okongwu against the Houston Rockets. This cost them the win against the worst team in the NBA, and then they followed that up with another loss against the Miami Heat.
The Atlanta Hawks could benefit from Chris Silva and his hustle.
While Chris Silva is also undersized, his ability to do the little things as a big man is what set him apart from other players his size. He is a hustle king, always setting the hard screen, hustling for the offensive rebound, or simply boxing out to secure the defensive rebound.
Basketball is a simple game, especially when finishing a defensive possession can just be putting a body in front of another player. Silva has a hunger for hustle plays which is what the Hawks desperately need when Okongwu goes to the bench.
Over the last two games for the College Park Skyhawks, Silva has collected a double-double in both of these games. While he is not going to burn an opposition on the offensive end, he has averaged 3.5 offensive rebounds per game.
He has also averaged 9.0 rebounds on the defensive end of the court which is particularly solid for the undersized center. He has NBA experience, playing the majority of his NBA minutes at the pivot. He should be started on a 10-Day contract but if he pans out, the Hawks should offer him a full deal.
While the Hawks are near the luxury tax, they might look at sending Kaminsky out via trade. He is probably going to get the Gorgui Dieng treatment this season. He is struggling to get court time and is ineffective when he hits the floor.
He is even less athletic than he was prior to his injury and does not crash the boards. The Atlanta Hawks need more activity and hustle and this is what Silva provides, especially when either Capela or Okongwu is out.