Somehow, we managed to survive another week, and we are back with another look at the power rankings across the league. The Hawks managed to pick up a big win at home against the 76ers yet still managed to end the week on some bad news. If you haven’t been paying attention to the team lately, it has been injury galore and this week the Hawks managed to add both Hunter and Reddish to the injury report. Despite the injuries, the Hawks are still managing to play hard on most nights, so let’s take a look at where the Hawks fall in this week’s ranking roundup.
John Schuhmann of NBA.com points out the positive in the Hawks’ young core, even though they dropped to No. 26 overall.
The Hawks’ 22-and-under lineup - Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, De’Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish and John Collins - has been solid overall (plus-4.3 points per 100 possessions) and was a plus-7 in a little less than 10 minutes in the Atlanta’s win over the Sixers on Thursday. It’s the only Atlanta lineup that’s played at least 100 minutes this season (despite Collins’ 25-game suspension), but Lloyd Pierce hasn’t gone all in on what could be his lineup of the future.
Against Joel Embiid, Pierce started Damian Jones at center, with Reddish coming off the bench. Overall, Collins has played a little less than half of his minutes (363/731) at the five, and the Hawks haven’t really been any better or worse in those minutes than when he’s played the four.
Hunter missed the Hawks’ loss in Dallas on Saturday with a sprained ankle. Then Reddish suffered a concussion in the first quarter and Young turned his ankle in the third. So the lineup of the future may be on hiatus for a bit.
In this special trade deadline edition, Tommy Beer of Yahoo makes mention of a possible trade as he puts the Hawks at No. 29.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Rockets are actively discussing several trade scenarios involving center Clint Capela. Per Woj, “Atlanta has been interested in acquiring a starting level center and has talked with Houston about Capela and Oklahoma City about Steven Adams.”
ESPN installs the Hawks at the bottom for the week and making mention of injury concerns.
All-Star guard Trae Young suffered a right ankle sprain in the third quarter of Saturday’s game at Dallas. The Hawks are expected to err on the side of caution with the sharpshooter, according to a source, but he is not expected to miss the All-Star Game on Feb. 16. Young averaged 31.7 points, 11.5 assists and 5.3 rebounds in January, becoming the first player since Oscar Robertson in 1966 to meet those minimums. — Spears
Michael Shapiro of SI.com also makes mention of the Hawks in trade talks as he slots Atlanta at No. 29.
The Hawks’ interest in Clint Capela or Steven Adams is sensible. Atlanta hemorrhages points inside, and a quality diving big would be critical in helping unlock the floor for Trae Young. John Collins is still young and quite talented. It would be surprising to see him shipped. But recent lottery picks De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish aren’t out of the question in trade talks. Atlanta lurks as a buyer as it seeks a long-term solution up front.
Finally, Colin Ward-Henninger of CBS Sports keeps the Hawks at No. 25 despite the injuries as of late.
Atlanta picked up a big home win over the 76ers — a game in which Trae Young put up 39 points and 18 assists — but then got blown out by a Mavericks squad without Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis on Saturday. Young exited that game early with a right ankle sprain, which is the last thing the Hawks need right now. They are playing better despite the inconsistency, however, as they’ve gone 5-5 over their last 10 games.
That is a wrap for this week’s power ranking roundup. We are close to the trade deadline so it will be interesting to see who will be in an Atlanta uniform come next week. The Hawks are still in a rebuild so it shouldn’t be surprising to see that the team exercises patience. Also, I am curious to see how the team will perform as they limp into the All-Star break.
As always, leave your thought below.
Oh yeah, I forgot. Here’s a random tweet of optimism for the week.
Vince Carter was just asked about mentoring Trae and Trae making the All-Star Game, and Vince pointed to Cam Reddish and said, "That's my next project."— Kevin Chouinard (@KLChouinard) January 31, 2020