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Atlanta Hawks: A team in decline

This season’s NBA campaign has been an interesting one, which has produced a lot of drama and entertainment on countless occasions. With the season set to resume following its abrupt halt due to the coronavirus, there are a few things left to be sorted out with some playoffs places still up for grabs. One team who will not be in the conversation for a potential playoff place at the end of the season is Atlanta Hawks, whose recent decline continued this year. For the third consecutive season, Atlanta Hawks failed to make the playoffs after experiencing a terrible season. Currently, Atlanta Hawks are 14th on the Eastern Conference and 5th in the Southeast Division with an abysmal 20-47 win-loss record and a .299 win percentage.

Despite having a roster full of talented players, Atlanta Hawks have failed to get things right in recent seasons and have the fourth-worst win-loss record in the NBA this season. As a result, Atlanta Hawks will not take part in the remaining games of the season as they don’t qualify to be part of the 22 teams who per the NBA Board of Governors’ restart plan will participate in the remainder of the season.

We take a look at Atlanta Hawks’ season and highlight the positives and negatives from their campaign.


Atlanta Hawks’ 2019-2020 NBA season

After a summer of several incomings and outgoings in the team, Atlanta Hawks went into the 2019-2020 season with a lot of expectations and an eye for the playoffs. For the first time since the 2013-2014 season, the Hawks were without Kent Bazemore, whom the Hawks traded to Portland Trail Blazers for Evan Turner. Despite his absence, the Hawks still had a decent team.

Atlanta Hawks began the season on a winning note as they grabbed two consecutive wins in the opening two games on the road at Detroit Pistons (117-100) and home against Orlando Magic (103-99). However, their season began to take a wrong turn as they won two and lost 16 out of their next 18 games. After the opening 20 games of the season, Atlanta Hawks had a miserable 4-16 win-loss record. They experienced the terrible form from October to the end of November.

Despite being on a terrible run, the Hawks began December on a good note with two wins and one defeat from their next three games. The wins came against Golden State Warriors (104-79) and Charlotte Hornets (122-107). However, they failed to maintain consistency as they lost ten and won 1 of their next 11 games. The single victory came against Orlando Magic (101-93) in the final game of 2019. The win was also the Hawks’ second consecutive win over Orlando Magic in their first two encounters of the season. After the opening 34 games of the season, the Hawks had a 7-27 win-loss record and were gradually fading from the playoffs picture.

Despite entering the New Year with the comprehensive, Atlanta Hawks still struggled to turn their season around as they won 1 and lost 5 of their next six games. However, they managed to secure two consecutive wins against Phoenix Suns (123-110) and San Antonio Spurs (121-120) in their next two games. Three wins soon followed in their next seven games, improving their win-loss record to 14-38 after 52 games. Despite the few good results, the inconsistencies set in the team as they won two and lost 5 of their next seven games. The weak form came to an end as the Hawks won two straight home games against Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks. However, Atlanta Hawks suffered two consecutive losses to end the 2-game winning run. In their last seven games before the suspension of the league season, Atlanta Hawks managed to record three wins and four defeats. Their final match ended in a 136-131 OT loss at home against New York Knicks.


Positives from Atlanta Hawks’ season

Despite the team’s bad form all season, there were a few bright spots for Atlanta Hawks. This season, Point Guard Trae Young and Power Forward John Collins have been the two influential players for the Hawks.

Trae Young has been the headline grabber for the team with his performances and athleticism in his second season in the NBA. After finishing his rookie season with an average of 19.1 points per game, 3.7 rebounds per game, and 8.1 assists per game in 81 appearances, Trae Young massively improved his game this season. In his 60 appearances for the Hawks this season, Trae Young averaged 29.6 points per game, 4.3 rebounds per game and 9.3 assists per game. He also averaged 1.1 steals per game and 4.8 turnovers per game.

Behind Trae Young, Power Forward John Collins was also a difference-maker in his third season with Atlanta Hawks. In 41 games, Collins averaged 21.6 points per game, 10.1 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. He also had an average of 0.8 steals per game, 1.6 blocks per game, and 1.8 turnovers per game.

On the court, both players complemented each other and formed a formidable partnership up front.


Negatives from Atlanta Hawks’ season

The Hawks’ form on the road was their biggest weakness all season. Throughout the season, the Hawks found it difficult to secure a lot of wins on the road as they only managed to record just six wins away from home, which was half of their total away wins from the 2018-2019 NBA season (12).


What’s Next for Atlanta Hawks?

With their season done and dusted, Atlanta Hawks will have the opportunity to reassess the team and prepare for next season. They will also have to ensure that they keep their star duo Trae Young and John Collins as there will be a list of potential suitors queueing for their signatures after the end of the season. If Atlanta Hawks manage to keep both players and add a few excellent talents to the roster, they will be a dominant force next season.


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