The Atlanta Hawks need to keep fighting for the play-in seeding

The Atlanta Hawks have been playing hard and should keep trying to get the best position possible for the Play-In Tournament.

Mar 27, 2024; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Garrison Mathews (25)
Mar 27, 2024; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Garrison Mathews (25) / Jordan Godfree-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks have been a different outfit since the injury to Trae Young. Their defense has stepped up a number of notches and their offense took a dive before being given a heartbeat by the tremendous play of Dejounte Murray.

This has led to the Hawks almost cementing their spot in the play-in tournament, given their current four-game win streak, including two against the Boston Celtics. It seemed that after the recent trip to New York, when they lost to the Brooklyn Nets so badly their season was done and that may have been a good thing.

However, given that the Hawks are showing real fight. The fact that they are competing at the level that they are is a testament to the next-man-up mentality that they have embodied for much of the season. The development that this has allowed for the fringe players is going to be invaluable in the coming seasons.

Why should the Atlanta Hawks continue to try and qualify for the play-in tournament?

The Hawks seem to be stuck in NBA purgatory. Since their Eastern Conference Finals appearance, they have struggled to put together a good season. They have had injury issues and other complications including having to dump salary in the offseason twice. This has weakened the playing group time and again.

This is why the current playing group must be getting the development that they are. Bruno Fernando is playing with the confidence that playing time gives you. His offense is improving to the point where he could improve the Hawks roster by getting on the court and adding size alongside Onyeka Okongwu in the second unit

Garrison Mathews is also showcasing growth in his game. He has always been able to shoot, that has never been in question. However, with the extra playing time his game is developing to the next level. He is now in possession of an escape dribble, a floater, and the ability to find an open shooter after touching the paint.

Even Trent Forrest is starting to score more than he has in the past. On top of that, the Hawks are getting a really good look at their two-way player Vit Krejci whose defense is certainly noteworthy. He is still hesitant with his shooting, but the rest of his game is shining and is certainly in consideration for a full-time deal next season.

If the Hawks can qualify for the play-in, then this will also give some of these players greater experience in a high-pressure situation like the playoffs. This is invaluable experience for these players and it will certainly give the front office an insight into their potential future with the franchise.