We are still a few weeks away from the start of training camps around the NBA. But the Atlanta Hawks’ roster appears all but set barring, of course, an unforeseen resolution to their pursuit of Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam or some other trade.
With that, we can start to parse through some of the things we’d like or, in this case, don’t want to see from this squad next season.
We’ve already taken a look at some of the lineups they should feature next season.
With John Collins’ trade to the Utah Jazz, we can revisit that when camp starts. Also, head coach Quin Snyder came in after the All-Star break and still had his predecessor, Nate McMillan’s staff. And with that, let’s take a look at some of the lineup combinations and concepts that failed the Hawks last season and would be better off left out of the game plan next season.
That figures to have a dramatic impact on how well certain groupings play together and even which groups play together.
Dejounte Murray at point guard did not go well for the Hawks last season
Perhaps it was an anomaly – Dejounte Murray did earn his first All-Star appearance and lead the league in steals per game as a lead guard in 2021-22, after all. But that effectiveness did not translate to the Hawks.
At least not when Collins was off the floor.
Atlanta posted a minus-3.9 net rating in 762 possessions with Murray running the point alongside his returning teammates last season, per Cleaning The Glass.
That’s not to say certain groupings did not find success. Lineups with Murray alongside Bogdan Bogdanovic, AJ Griffin, Onyeka Okongwu, and either Saddiq Bey or Jalen Johnson both posted positive net ratings.
It just wasn’t enough to overcome the cumulative score of the negative lineups.
A big selling point of Murray coming to Atlanta was that he would be capable of shouldering the load with Trae Young off the floor. But, again, the numbers did not bear that out last season.
The Hawks have to hope this is where Patty Mills and Kobe Bufkin can help. The veteran, Mills, has been a star for Australia in the 2023 FIBA World Cup. But he’s never been much of a lead guard.
Bufkin is but a rookie, and it’s hard to win consistently relying on rookies.
Neither option is proven with this group so this could turn into a tricky situation to navigate, especially early on in the season.