It’s been an eventful week for the Atlanta Hawks. In all, there were close games and two victories. Yes, Hawks faithful, the team managed to obtain 25% of its wins on season in one week. The Hawks are from perfect, but with a couple of wins, this young team appears to be headed in the right direction.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some power rankings from around the NBA world.
Colin Ward-Henninger of CBS Sports is the first on our list with moving Atlanta up to No. 26 overall.
The Hawks finally gained some positive momentum this week, with wins over the Magic and Pacers and a tight loss to the Celtics. The Pacers win came without John Collins, who had played well since returning from suspension before he suffered a back injury in the Boston loss. In the win over the Magic, Atlanta held an opponent under 100 points for just the third time this season
ESPN keeps the Hawks at No. 30 while mentioning the popularity of the team’s young star.
Guard Trae Young leads the Eastern Conference in 40-point games this season with five, second in the NBA only to Houston’s James Harden (14). Young, who led all Eastern Conference guards in the first All-Star fan balloting results, has also scored 30 or more points on 18 occasions this season.
John Schuhmann of NBA.com moves Atlanta up to No. 28 in this week’s ranking.
The Hawks didn’t go a full game after getting Trae Young back from his ankle injury before losing John Collins to a back contusion in Boston on Friday. But they still got two wins last week, with Young dropping 41 on the Pacers’ ninth-ranked defense on Saturday (improving Atlanta to 2-16 against the 13 teams currently over .500). Young is now being backed up by Brandon Goodwin, who gave the Hawks some huge minutes (with a career-high 21 points and a big defensive play that Young obviously doesn’t make) in their win in Orlando on Monday. Kevin Huerter also did some nice things (this in-and-out, screen-reject move was particularly impressive) running the offense in the fourth quarter against the Magic’s top-10 defense as the Hawks put an end to their 10-game losing streak. Even with Young’s return, Huerter has totaled 43 points and 10 assists over the last two games.
Michael Shapiro of Sports Illustrated also keeps the Hawks at No. 30 while discussing the thought of Andre Drummond in Atlanta.
Atlanta chasing Andre Drummond appears to be a sensible move, especially if the Hawks were committed to spending major money in July. Trading Drummond (and presumably re-signing him this summer) would deliver the Hawks the nine-figure asset it was likely poised to chase in a weak 2020 free-agent class. Drummond provides some desperately-needed rim protection, and he’s a genuine threat as a roll man next to Trae Young. Barring an outrageous price-tag, Drummond to Atlanta makes sense.
Finally, Yahoo Sports puts Atlanta at No. 29 despite the somewhat positive week.
Despite being forced to play without John Collins (back), Jabari Parker (throat infection) and Cam Reddish (right wrist sprain), the Hawks stunned the Pacers on Saturday night, thanks in large part to Trae Young’s 41 points and eight assists. This game was also notable because when Vince Carter checked in during the first quarter, he became the first player in NBA history to play in four decades.
That wraps it up for this week’s roundup and, well, it will take some more convincing from Atlanta, as well as some defense, to move the team up in the rankings.
Now that Atlanta has somewhat been in a rhythm, hopefully the Hawks will improve on the way to a few more wins.
As always, leave your thoughts below.