Ceiling, floor, and expectations for the Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

Quin Synder has a proven track record

What does Snyder bring to the table in his first full season in Atlanta? Let’s start with what Synder was able to do last season. Under Nate McMillian, the Hawks ranked 22nd in bench points and 14th in offensive rating (backdated to April 12th). Under Snyder, the Hawks’ bench production skyrocketed. Atlanta ranked 2nd in scoring and 1st in offensive rating. Snyder made it a point to feature the bench production in more of the offense.

Under Synder in comparison to McMillian, Atlanta was number one in points per game whereas they were 8th under McMillian. The Hawks’ field goal percentage also rose rapidly from 13th to 4th under Synder. The only category where Atlanta got worse under Synder was defensive rating and that remained a problem going into the playoffs. However, the outliers suggest that is bound to improve for the Hawks this season.

From the 2016-2017 season until the 2018-2019 season, the Utah Jazz under Synder finished top three in defensive rating in all of those years. While they finished just 13th in 2019-2020, they were right back near the top in that category in the 2020-2021 season finishing 4th that season. While a lot of that may have to do with the elite rim protection Rudy Gobert provided, it shows that Synder has the ability to coach one of the top defenses in the NBA. The year before being let go Utah ranked 9th in defensive rating in their last year under Snyder. Atlanta should and has to show improvement on defense if they want to make any progress this season.

With the offense already showing improvement, the defense will come eventually. It is hard not to think the Hawks will be better next season, but time will tell. The players clearly love Snyder’s coaching and what he brings to the table. Can the Hawks show improvement this season?

Next. 5 3rd Stars Hawks could potentially acquire this season. dark

The expectations are low, but Atlanta has the talent and means to exceed their own expectations!