|2013-14 Team Rating|
|12thth Overall||14thth Overall|
Stats Through Jan. 20
Losing Al Horford to a torn pectoral muscle seemed like season-killing event when it happened the day after Christmas. That was before Paul Millsap, Pero Antic, DeMarre Carroll and Mike Scott stepped in to fill the void. Millsap might end up being the steal of free agency.
Kyle Korver 3-point streak could go on throughout the postseason the way he's playing. Jeff Teague flirted with All-Star status early on and has been every bit as good as Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer suggested he would be after the Hawks matched the offer sheet he signed with Milwaukee.
The Hawks aren't exactly an elite defensive team, but they play with an energy, effort and determination that raises their game collectively on a nightly basis. They don't do anything fancy. They just dig in and guard you for the entire possession every time down the court.
This mismatched bunch, whoever it might include on a given night, is literally a no-name group. They've found ways to get the job done and produce more often than not. Shelvin Mack has been particularly good in relief of Teague and Antic gives the Hawks an interesting option when the matchups are right.
Budenholzer has the unfortunate luck of breaking in as a head coach in the same season Terry Stotts is working wonders in Portland and Frank Vogel is piloting a juggernaut in Indiana. Because he'd easily be the frontrunner for Coach of the Year with the job he's done.
Whether or not the Hawks can sustain the momentum they built throughout the first half of the season is the greatest mystery surrounding this blue-collar bunch. Working without Horford for the duration of the season could be more than this group can ultimately handle.
The Hawks have to decide if they're going to ride the season out as is or use some of the assets and flexibility they've acquired under Danny Ferry to add a big man (free agent Andrew Bynum is an option, as is disgruntled Rockets big man Omer Asik). There is risk with both, more, obviously, with Bynum. Ferry just has to decide if it's worth the risk for the Hawks to make a move.
-- Sekou Smith
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||A-|
|Los Angeles Clippers||A-|
|Los Angeles Lakers||D|
|New Orleans Pelicans||C-|
|New York Knicks||D|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||A|
|San Antonio Spurs||A|