Confidence is key for De’Andre Hunter’s offense
Despite the defensive upside and ability he’s displayed his whole career, Hunter’s offensive game is not quite as strong. He is a career 13.9 points per game scorer on 44.4% from the field. That isn’t terrible, however, that is quite average.
If we look at League Adjusted Shooting (found on basketball reference), it shows that Hunter is merely an average shooter from all areas of the floor.
With the Hawks’ offense being as prolific as it has been over the last few years, Hunter doesn’t need to be an elite offensive player, but you’d like him to be above average as a shooter to further improve his game.
Year 5 is an important year for Hunter because what you get out of him this season is probably what you can expect out of him moving forward in his career. And with the Hawks fluttering his name in trade rumors this offseason, it feels like he could be on the move at some point in the near future.
Regardless of what happens with Hunter, this year could prove to be a make-or-break one for the fifth-year player.
During the playoff series vs the Boston Celtics, Hunter showed positive signs with his play. In the six-game series, Hunter averaged 16.7 points on 46% shooting from the field and 37% from beyond the arc. It wasn’t just that his percentages and scoring increased, his volume did as well. Compared to his regular season statistics, Hunter took 14.2 shots per game (an increase from 12.3 in the regular season) and 6.3 attempts from three (an increase from 4.3 in the regular season).
Although it was just a small sample size, it shows that Hunter not only has confidence in himself but that he is not afraid of the big moments.
As long as Hunter goes into the season confident, there is only room for improvement on the offensive end. Once Quin Snyder entered the picture for the Hawks, the offensive philosophy changed and revolved around shooting more three-pointers. Hunter was a clear benefit despite the fact that he excels more in the mid-range area.
If Hunter can carry the momentum and confidence from the sample size in the playoffs, you can expect a spike in efficiency and volume which would overall increase his offensive production!