The 2020-21 NBA season is nearly here and, after the longest break in recorded history, the Atlanta Hawks will return to action in the coming days. Before the regular season tips off on Dec. 23, the Peachtree Hoops is coming together for a ten-part roundtable series, setting the stage for what’s to come. In part three, our writers pick Atlanta’s best five-man lineup.
Brad Rowland: I’ll go with Trae Young, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Cam Reddish, John Collins and Clint Capela. If you wanted to tilt toward offense, getting Gallinari on the floor would be the way to do it, and he’s a very good player. However, I think you need a plus defender on the wing to maximize the team’s best possible lineup, and that means Reddish gets the nod. It is certainly possible that Collins plays some at the 5 and, well, I can’t imagine anyone trying to stop a unit with Young, Bogdanovic, Gallinari and Collins at the 5. Still, I’ll lean toward balance and take this group.
Wes Morton: This answer may be a bit off the wall, but I think the Hawks’ best lineup, as was the case last season, is one with John Collins at the 5. The lineup of Young, Bogdanovic, Hunter, Gallinari and Collins has an insane amount of shooting potential. I chose Hunter over Reddish here as I think Hunter has a better role as a low usage spot up shooter who can exert most of his energy on defense. This lineup may struggle defensively, but does it matter when all five players can light it up from long range while countering with deadly Young/Collins pick-and-rolls?
Glen Willis: This is a tough one in a way that it hasn’t been in quite some time for this team. The best lineup that the Hawks will be able to roll out in any given game will depend upon the match up. But as to answer this question, I think we have to work with what should be most effective versus a traditional lineup. In that context, I would offer Young, Bogdanovic, Reddish, Collins and Gallinari. That group would very likely struggle to rebound the ball but should put the ball through the hoop often enough that they can get back and set up for a solid majority of their defensive possessions.
Daniel Comer: Young, Dunn, Reddish, Collins and Capela. I mentioned previously how bullish I was about Dunn signing, and I’m doubling down on that here. I realize this isn’t going to be the Hawks’ starting lineup at the beginning of the season, and that for the most part, Bogdanovic will play more significant minutes at the wing than Dunn, but I really like this unit’s balance with arguably Atlanta’s two strongest wing defenders in Dunn and Reddish. If Reddish’s offense has progressed this offseason, look out. I’ve always thought Reddish had Paul George upside, and I’m betting on a move in that direction for the young wing in year two.
Rashad Milligan: Going to play it safe here and say Young, Bogdanovic, Reddish, Collins and Capela. Capela has been a great anchor on one of the better teams in the league for the last five years. Collins and Young have a connection near the top of the league in regard to duo chemistry. Bogdanovic can score with anybody, and Reddish’s ceiling is so high it’s ridiculous — on both sides of the ball.
Graham Chapple: A legitimately more complicated question this season, which is a testament to the work Travis Schlenk has done in free agency. I think the Young, Bogdanovic, Reddish, Collins and Capela lineup might be their best in terms of net rating. It has a nice blend of playmaking/ball-handling with Young and Bogdanovic (perhaps Cam Reddish too if you really need it), pick-and-roll between Collins and Capela, pick-and-pop with Collins (I’d love to see some with Bogdanovic too), three-point shooting with Young and Bogdanovic, Collins to a lesser degree and Reddish too, and some defensive potential with Reddish, Capela and John Collins has shown capability too. To close games however, you can probably replace Capela with Gallinari at the four, Collins at the five. That is arguably their best offensive lineup but does depend on Cam Reddish’s three-point shooting compared to De’Andre Hunter’s.
Ryan Kerley: Wow, that’s a fun question. I think the best lineup will be Young, Bogdonavic, Reddish, Collins, Capela. This is also a strong possibility to end up being the starting lineup. I think this lineup will be the most balanced on both ends of the floor. Sure, throw Gallinari in there for Capela or Reddish, but then there is a loss of defensive stability.
Joel Lorenzi: I’m sure the Hawks are mostly against Collins at the five spot usually, especially now with Capela, but it makes for the most ideal offensive lineup. But because that’s not likely, I’d say Young, Bogdanovic, Reddish, Collins and Capela make for very good basketball. Reddish is a solid defender and can likely help that backcourt out with some assignments. The duo inside will shatter some dreams. It just makes for solid defense and great offense. Greater offense would mean Gallinari at the four and Collins at the five, but I just don’t know the likelihood of that group playing. It’s a good problem to have, though.
Zach Hood: Young, Bogdanovic, Reddish, Gallinari, Capela. Omitting Collins may seem odd, but Capela is a better anchor defensively and Gallinari is a significantly better floor spacer, not to mention the other stuff he can do offensively.