After a 60-win season, nobody surrounding the Atlanta Hawks is overly thrilled with their current place in the standings, and ESPN agrees with that sentiment. A panel of ESPN analysts handed out grades for each Eastern Conference team ($) and while there was a balanced picture, one section resonated in a negative light.
Tom Haberstroh had this to say about an "underachieving" Hawks team to this point:
But the reality is the Hawks have underachieved so far. No one reasonably expected another 60-win season, but the Hawks are on target to finish a startling 13 wins off their 2014-15 total. Amazingly, their 47 percent rebound rate gives them the worst rebounding outfit since the 2013-14 Lakers squad that went 27-55. That has to change if they want to hang with a monster Cleveland team.
As noted, a 60-win expectation was wholly unreasonable, but the point about rebounding is a salient one. It is no secret to anyone around the team that rebounding is an issue, but in the same breath, nothing has impacted that problem in a positive light during the course of the first half of the year.
Elsewhere in the post, the panel notes that Kyle Korver's early-season slump probably isn't sustainable and, well, the Hawks are still in very reasonable position to claim homecourt in the first two rounds of the playoffs. However, a national perspective on things can often be enlightening, and ESPN joins the chorus of people lamenting what has been a largely uninspiring 42-game stretch.