The Atlanta Hawks G-League players may cause an NBA rethink

The Atlanta Hawks' G Leaguers have performed well in their most recent game. If they keep this up, the team may need to rethink their strategy.
Dec 23, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) shoots against Atlanta Hawks
Dec 23, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) shoots against Atlanta Hawks / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the College Park Skyhawks losing to second-placed Indiana Mad Ants, the G-League affiliate of the Atlanta Hawks (24-31) is well-placed with its two-way and assigned players. They all stepped up in a major way, it is just a shame that they could not get it done in the overtime period.

The players that you want to step up in a big game all put their hands up. Unfortunately, Trent Forrest was out for the game but even Chris Silva, who signed an Exhibit-10 contract in the pre-season before being waived, was his usual solid self. The forward had 21 points on 7-of-16 shooting, as well as collecting six rebounds, four assists, and three steals in 27 minutes.

Of the remaining two-way players, Vit Krejci, who has played two minutes for the Hawks all season was the least impressive but the most efficient. His shooting was the best of the three, scoring 17 points on only seven attempts. He only missed one of his four 3-point attempts. Krecji also had four assists, and three rebounds, with a steal and a block in 27 minutes.

What the Skyhawks did with Atlanta Hawks assignee AJ Griffin was a little confusing

In what is looking like a wasted season for the sophomore, AJ Griffin did not start for the Skyhawks. He is the best player on the roster and has had a very limited number of opportunities with the varsity squad thi season. Given how little he has played, surely it would have been a good opportunity to develop some confidence as early as possible.

As it was, Griffin played 21 minutes, scoring 12 points on 5-of-12 shooting, including 2-of-5 from beyond the arc. He collected four rebounds, one block, and one steal. However, he was not allowed to make enough of an impact. The next couple of games are against the lower-ranked Cleveland Charge and Greensboro Swarm so hopefully the Skyhawks can give Griffin more of a run.

Seth Lundy, the other two-way player was the Skyhawks best offensive player all night. He played a game-high 36 minutes and scored a game-high 29 points on 9-of-15 shooting, going 3-of-7 from beyond the arc. He also collected five rebounds, three blocks, one assist, and one steal.

Lundy has played nine games with the varsity squad, averaging 1.6 points and 0.8 rebounds in 5.8 minutes per game. These numbers are not earth-shattering by any means, but the NBA is a league of opportunity and Lundy needs to keep performing at his current level for the Skyhawks if he is a chance at getting another opportunity.

However, the fact that Griffin, Lundy, and Krejci are all with the Skyhawks as well as Forrest no longer being eligible to play for the Hawks this season leads to a question. What are the Hawks going to do with Kobe Bufkin? The rookie guard has played one good game for the Hawks recently and was not assigned to the G League when Griffin was.

With the Hawks season being in limbo, it is certainly going to be interesting to see what they do with their fringe players. If the first few games if the Hawks do not win, then it will be time to see what they have with their two-way and deep bench players.