Well this isn’t fun, the Hawks have started this season out very uneven and at the moment are on a slide. Defense seems to be an issue as well as certain players still trying to get their legs under them from the shortened offseason. I imagine after a rough week the Hawks will have fallen in the rankings.
NBA.com — No. 20
Trae Young has been getting to the line more in November. His free throw rate last week (39.5 attempts per 100 shots from the field) wasn’t quite what it was last season (49.1), but it was almost double what it was through Week 2 (21.8). Of course, he’s still not shooting well inside (11-for-36 in the paint this month), a sign that he’s not getting all the calls he’s seeking.
And of course, offense isn’t the main issue for the Hawks, who have allowed 118.4 points per 100 possessions as they’ve lost five of their last six games. That is the league’s worst mark over the last 11 days. It’s been a tough stretch of schedule; They’re playing nine of their first 13 games on the road and they’re six games into a nine-game stretch against teams currently over .500. But they will need to defend better if they’re to count themselves among the elite. They rank 27th in opponent 2-point percentage (54.6%) after ranking 16th last season (53.4%).
As noted, the final three games of the Hawks’ four-game trip are tough. But a five-game homestand (their first time playing multiple home games in a row) begins Sunday, and all five of the opponents on that homestand are currently under .500.
ESPN — No. 19
John Collins’ efficiency has been on full display in the first 10 games. In the previous three seasons, Collins’ usage rate hovered between 22.2% and 23.7%. This season, it has dropped to 18.4%, but he’s making the most of his time with the ball. He has started off shooting 59.6% from the field and 42.9% from 3-point range — both would be career highs if he sustains those numbers.
SI.com — No. 18
The evolution from good team to great is challenging, and the Hawks are experiencing it. The defense, never great, has bottomed out and Trae Young, who thrived on creating James Harden/Chris Paul–like contact the last two seasons, has seen his free throw attempts chopped nearly in half. Atlanta isn’t sneaking up on anyone this season, and it’s showing.
The Hawks are no longer in the upper third tier, as they are struggling so far this season. However, again it is still early in the season so the players and coaches still have time to improve as the season goes on.