How The Atlanta Hawks Became The East’s Hottest Team
Robby Kalland of UPRoxx takes a look into the Hawks rise in the Eastern Conference standings.
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As the early March NBA All-Star break approached, the Atlanta Hawks sat at 14-20 as at the bottom of the play-in picture, a far cry from where expectations had been set in the offseason after some big spending in free agency. Injuries played a significant role in the Hawks early struggles, as they were without many of those big signings, with Bogdan Bogdanovic, Danilo Gallinari, Rajon Rondo, and Kris Dunn all missing significant time (and Dunn having yet to make his debut), as well as some of their young core pieces, most notably De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish. All of that, coupled with being one of the league’s worst fourth quarter teams, spelled disaster and eventually led to Nate McMillan being elevated to interim head coach.
- The Hawks are 15-5 since the coaching change
- Atlanta has won 7 of their last 10 to climb to fourth in the East, a half game clear of the division rival Heat for homecourt advantage in a first round series.
- When Capela shares the floor with any two of the Hawks’ best, healthy perimeter players — Young, Bogdanovic, Gallinari, and Huerter — the Hawks boast an offensive rating of at least 120, which is stupendous
- Since March 1, the Hawks have a +16.2 net rating in the fourth quarter, a dramatic turnaround from the -8.2 net rating they had in the first half of the season.