Well, the past week could’ve gone much better for the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks have managed to end the week by getting swept by the Grizzlies, along with picking up an additional loss to the Wizards. Eeven the most optimistic fan is likely looking at the lottery odds as a result and, even though the Hawks managed to start another losing streak, the show must go on here in the weekly power ranking roundup.
John Schuhmann of NBA.com tries to point out the bright spot even thought the Hawks dropped to No. 21 in his ranking.
After ranking fourth offensively over the first week and a half after the All-Star break, the Hawks got shut down by the Grizzlies twice in six days. After dishing out 10 assists or more in each of his previous five games, Trae Young had just six total assists in the two games against Memphis, and he has shot 9-for-51 (18%) from 3-point range over the last two weeks.
Cam Reddish has been a bright spot and scored a career-high 28 points (including 10 in a four-possession stretch in the first quarter) in Washington on Friday. But if the offense isn’t clicking on all cylinders, the Hawks don’t have the defense to get wins. They’re just 6-42 when they’ve scored less than 115 points per 100 possessions, and interior defense has been the primary issue. They rank 26th in the (lowest) percentage of their opponents’ shots that have come in the restricted area (36%), 29th in defensive rebounding percentage (70.6%) and 29th in opponent free throw rate (30.3 attempts per 100 shots from the field).
Lottery odds are on the line when the 19-win Hawks host the 20-win Knicks and 19-win Cavs this week.
ESPN.com has dropped the Hawks near the bottom to No. 29 for the week.
John Collins has 13 20-point, 10-rebound games in 39 contests this season, nine of which have come since Feb. 1. He has been hampered of late by a bruised right thigh. — Spears
CBS Sports pointed out the terrible showing against the Grizzlies, as they were dropped as well to No. 29 in this installment.
The Hawks were absolutely bulldozed by the Grizzlies twice this week, with a loss to the Wizards in between. Ironically, the closest game of the week — against the Wizards — was the one Trae Young didn’t suit up for. Young shot 27 percent from the field and went 1 for 14 from the 3-point line in the two Memphis losses, while Cam Reddish had a career-high 28 points on 5-of-7 3-point shooting in the loss to Washington.
Sports Illustrated did not drop the Hawks as far, however, as they were moved to No. 24 this week.
It’s hard to look more downtrodden than Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce after Atlanta’s 127-88 loss to the Grizzlies on March 2. Pierce pinned Atlanta’s blowout loss and a lack of defensive effort, an issue that has seemed to plague the Hawks throughout 2019-20. Atlanta ranks No. 28 in defensive rating. Only the Hornets rebound a lower percentage of opponents misses. Perhaps Clint Capela will change the narrative next season, but it’s very possible Piece receives a similar amount of headaches in 2020-21.
Finally, Yahoo Sports manages to keep the Hawks near the bottom by putting them at No. 29 for the week.
Cam Reddish was forced out of Saturday’s loss to Memphis due to lower-leg cramping but had been playing very well prior to that contest. Over Atlanta’s first seven games following the All-Star break, Reddish was averaging 17.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.3 made triples in 31.0 minutes, while shooting 50% from the floor, 40% from downtown and 85% from the charity stripe.
That does it for the week and, as we can see, the ranking has fallen across the board after three straight losses. With upcoming games against other teams in the lottery, this might be the week where the fans could be divided if it is right to root for ping-pong balls or improved on-court results.
As always, leave your thoughts below and let us know how where the Hawks should go from here.