How good are the files Atlanta Hawks? Have they improved this season? Where do you expect them to end up in the Eastern Conference?
Added: Dejounte Murray, Maurice Harkless, Justin Holiday, Frank Kaminsky, Aaron Holiday, AJ Griffin
Missing: Danilo Gallinari, Kevin Huerter, Dillon Wright, Kevin Knox, Jorjoy Deng
It’s hard not to love the addition of Dejounte Murray to the draft pick and Danilo Galinari. I’m curious how Trae Young will adapt to less ball time after being the most dominant player on the ball in the league in recent seasons. His father and others who saw him prior to his NBA career praised his off-ball abilities. I will need to see him. Strange to see John Collins back after the trade rumors of the past few years. He reportedly ended up with Atlanta. Now he’s back and out of the slack season. Onyeka Okongwu and De’Andre Hunter are excellent young players and the basis for a more defensive roster in the future. They’ll be better this year, maybe even above the playing streak, but some of the inconsistencies of Derek White in Boston made me wonder just how much Murray’s rise was the product of great Tottenham training.
Vegas tied them with 46.5 wins. I think this is true. Dejounte Murray is a huge plus as a goalkeeper who does it all, but that also means the ball is less in Trae Young’s hand. I would be surprised if they are hosting a game play in April.
It all comes back to Dejounte Murray’s fit. As a great and versatile goalkeeper with defensive bits, there is a possibility that he will thrive as a co-star alongside Trae Young, to cover up Young’s shortcomings. Having said that, the two goalkeepers will have to learn to coexist if this is to work, as neither of them can be quite as dominant on the ball as they have been used to over the past few seasons. Overall, I still feel the Hawks are one step closer to being a real threat, but as it is, this team should be pretty good, landing somewhere in the middle of the Eastern Conference watershed picture.
I beg Nate Macmillan to play Trae Young off the ball a little more. They have a legitimate All-Star guard in Dejounte Murray by his side, and enough top players on the team to functionally fire screens while Trae hovers around the grounds. They lost a bit of depth, but their top 6 players are really good and of playoff level. They’ll finish somewhere between 6 and 9 in the East and likely win 45 games, which is a very good result, even if it’s not a huge improvement from last year.
The Falcons have definitely improved this season. Dejounte Murray is a great co-star for Trae Young, in my opinion, and he definitely raises the bar for their defence. John Collins’ status is a little strange, but it looks like he’ll be on the list again (although there have been rumors of a trade in the past two summers). Regardless, they should fight for the sixth seed, but the East is very tough.
The only way Atlanta would get the sixth seed is if De’Andre Hunter made an all-star caliber leap and Trey Young committed to playing off the ball. Other than that, I don’t see this team making a lot of noise, and the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals will increasingly look like luck. Trey is awesome and doesn’t get enough credit for being the unstoppable offensive force. But it doesn’t seem to make others better, and I think Dejounte Murray – who thrived last year with ball play – will have a hard time repeating his 2021-2022 breakout season. He’s not a shooter, and does he really want to compete in defense after constantly watching Trey jack go up 30 feet? It’s going to look like a bad deal by January, and they may try to offset the venture capital by moving John Collins.