The Atlanta Hawks managed to post a .500 record in a week, punctuated by a nice win over the Wizards amid tragic circumstances. At this point in the year, going .500 seems to be a very small victory for this team compared to the beginning of the campaign.
In addition, some of the young players, namely Cam Reddish, have improved as the season progresses, which is very noticeable to even the average fan. With that in mind, let’s take a look at this week’s batch of power rankings.
John Schuhmann over at NBA.com is one person that seems to think this, as the Hawks have moved up to No. 25 in his ranking.
The Hawks traded for Jeff Teague to back up Trae Young. But in two of the last three games that Young has missed, Brandon Goodwin (the back-up point they already had) has stepped up in what have been the Hawks’ two biggest comeback wins of the season. Against the Clippers on Wednesday, Goodwin scored all 19 of his points in the fourth quarter of a game the Hawks trailed by 21 and won by seven.
John Collins has shot 62% as the Hawks have scored 113 points per 100 possessions over a 4-3 stretch, capped by a 152-133 win over Washington on Sunday in which Young had an incredibly efficient 45 points and 14 assists.
Both Goodwin and Teague have been playing off the bench with Young back in the lineup, but two-point-guard lineups have not worked well thus far. In 88 total minutes with two of the three on the floor, the Hawks have been outscored by 46 points.
The folks at ESPN keep Atlanta at the bottom this week.
Trae Young is the Hawks’ first outright Eastern Conference All-Star starter since center Dikembe Mutombo in 1998. Young’s growing popularity is evident, as he led all East guards with more than 2.8 million fan votes. — Spears
Tommy Beer of Yahoo Sports and Rotoworld keeps Atlanta from reaching the bottom but puts them at No. 29.
Trae Young erupted for 45 points, 14 assists, six 3-pointers, six rebounds in Sunday’s victory over Washington. He is the first player to tally at least 40 points and ten dimes in a single game before turning 22 years old. Young, who was a huge fan of Kobe, wore a Hawks No. 8 jersey to honor Bryant at the start of the game. Remarkably, the last player to have a 40-point double-double vs. the Wizards was… Kobe Bryant in 2006.
Finally, CBS Sports brings up possible trade piece Evan Turner in this ranking as they put the Hawks at No. 25.
Evan Turner: Truth be told, nobody who’s available on the Hawks roster will be very attractive to buyers at the deadline, but if we have to pick somebody I suppose it’s Turner, who’s on an $18.6M expiring deal. If Atlanta can find a taker, it would likely be in exchange for longer-term bad money with an asset attached.
That’s it for the rankings and, at the very least, the Hawks seem to be at the very least becoming more popular, thanks in large part to the work of Trae Young. In some areas, they are trending up. However, in others they are still at the bottom, and it will be interesting to see if Atlanta makes another move closer to the trade deadline.
As always, leave your thoughts below.