DJ’s Three Point Take: Flying Beneath the Radar

Atlanta Hawks


The Atlanta Hawks have been flying under the radar this year as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. They have been called by some, the most underrated team in the league and with a record of 22-8, they currently hold the second seed in the East. Atlanta warned everyone about their talent last year, taking a highly favored Indiana Pacers team to 7 games in the first round of the playoffs, but many wondered if it was for real or just a fluke.

  • The Atlanta Hawks play thus far has been great to watch and somewhat of a shock, but I believe a lot of credit has to go to their offensive system. They run a motion type offense which is similar to that of the previous champs, the San Antonio Spurs. The ball constantly moves and everyone is involved which makes it hard to defend because once one defender falls asleep you’re immediately beat. The Hawks rank 9th in points per game and 1st in assists amongst the entire league. MikeBudenholzer has his team clicking on all cylinders and I believe if they can keep this up he will be in the running for Coach of the Year. 
  • One thing that surprises me about this team is the absence of star power on the roster. They lack what many teams have and that is the “perennial superstar.” The Hawks don’t have a LeBron James or a Kevin Durant but they do have a handful of guys that go out on the floor and play together and work hard. Atlanta has five guys that average at least ten points a game. Balanced scoring like that is rare to see in todays NBA. You can tell from the numbers and just by watching them play that this team is very cohesive and that each player knows their role. The importance of players understanding their roles is extremely underrated in the keys of team success. It’s imperative for guys to understand what they need to bring to the table day in and day out because when one starts to do too much it become to be a detriment to the team.


  • Even with all their success thus far, I wonder if the Atlanta Hawks are a true contender. They’ve beaten some good teams but also have lost to some bad teams. However, anyone who follows NBA basketball knows that regular season success means nothing come April. The playoffs are a different type of beast and I wonder if Atlanta can withstand a 7-game series with one of the elite teams. The thing that scares me is the lack of a superstar as I mentioned previously. If you look at history, each successful team has had that go-to guy to get a tough bucket when they desperately need it. When I look at this team I just wonder who will they go to when it’s closing time and I’m just unsure if anyone on this current roster is that guy.

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