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Filed under: ranks Atlanta Hawks’ bench in lower third of league

Atlanta’s starting unit received high marks but’s NBA writers think that the Hawks have a problem on their hands with the bench.

Boston Celtics v Atlanta Hawks - Game Two Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

After previously taking a look at the starting units around the league, the’s basketball writers rate each team’s bench. Atlanta’s projected starting unit received positive marks and cracked the Top 10, however their bench group wasn’t as fortunate coming in at No. 22:

PROJECTED BENCH: Jarrett Jack, Thabo Sefolosha, Mike Scott, Kris Humphries, Tiago Splitter

If Splitter and Jack are their normal selves after hip and ACL surgery, then this isn't such a bad bench. They're both on the wrong side of 30, though, so it's unclear if the Hawks will be able to count on that. Malcolm Delaney is another name to watch here -- he's played all over the world in the last five seasons, and Atlanta might need another guard to soak up some minutes.

While there certainly are question marks pertaining to the Hawks’ bench, I am a little more confident in their abilities. Mike Scott has proven to be a reliable offensive player off the bench and made great strides last season on the defensive end of the floor. Thabo Sefolosha is a veteran and is still an exceptional wing defender. If healthy, Tiago Splitter could give the team a big boost off the bench as a reserve center behind Dwight Howard.

Atlanta also spent a pair of first round picks on Taurean Prince and DeAndre Bembry. Neither may open the season in the rotation, but after watching them in summer league, it just feels like the Hawks are in better shape this season with their wing depth.

The biggest question mark about the group comes down to the point guard position and who will back up starter Dennis Schröder. Jarrett Jack will be 33 by the time the season starts and is coming off an ACL injury. He hasn’t been a good player in several seasons and as a shoot first point guard, doesn’t exactly look like a great fit for Mike Budenholzer’s system.

The X-factor in all of this is Malcolm Delaney who was one of the best guards in Europe last season but is unproven at the NBA level. If Delaney proves to be the next Kent Bazemore type signing for this Hawks team, then this bench unit will be much better than this projection. However, if he ends up being closer to Justin Holiday then Atlanta may be looking for help early in the season.