4 Lineups the Atlanta Hawks need to use more next season

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports /
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Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Trent Forrest – AJ Griffin – De’Andre Hunter – Jalen Johnson – Onyeka Okongwu

The Hawks surprisingly posted a positive net efficiency differential when both Murray and Young were off the floor. Of course, with just 566 total possessions without either of their dynamic backcourt duo on the floor, it’s not hard to see how none saw more than 40 possessions together.

This one is chock full of youthful exuberance but posted a plus-43.2 net rating in its 37 qualifying possessions. It is extremely athletic and surprisingly skilled in the front court while being sturdily built and poised in what is an extremely inexperienced backcourt.

Johnson and Griffin struggled with defense and the overall speed of the game at different points, both spending time as bench ornaments.

Big man Onyeka Okongwu has trouble not fouling and guard Forrest’s deal expired, though since he was on a two-contract and gave them some good minutes in the playoffs, he could be a cheap option to retain this offseason.

This grouping would also let De’Andre Hunter get loose as a primary scoring option.

Hunter averaged a career-best 15.4 points per game in the regular season and ramped it up to 16.7 points per contest in the postseason. How much more this group should play depends on the strides the backcourt makes this summer – assuming Forrest returns – and on Johnson and/or Okongwu proving to be good enough shooters to warrant it.

Next. 3 Eastern Conference wings floated as Hawks’ trade targets. dark

The Hawks figure to make at least a few tweaks to the roster even if the bulk of the core should be back but they figure to have options either way.