The Atlanta Hawks continue to slide and continue to have issues with finishing games this season. With trade talks in the news, the Hawks are not looking that good as of this point but, with that in mind, here is a look at some power rankings from across the NBA world.
NBA.com — No. 21
The Hawks have fourth-quarter issues. They’ve outscored their opponents by 2.5 points per 100 possessions through the first three quarters and have led 16 of their 26 games entering the final period. But they’re just 9-7 in those games and have been outscored by 8.4 points per 100 possessions, the league’s worst mark, in the fourth quarter. The Wolves (5-6) are the only other team with more than five losses after leading after 36 minutes.
On Wednesday in Dallas, the Hawks led by nine after three and by five with less than seven minutes to go, but then allowed the Mavs to score 22 points on their next 12 possessions. And at home on Saturday, they were up three after three before yielding a 41-point fourth quarter to the Pacers (Indiana’s highest scoring quarter of the season). The Hawks ranked fourth defensively (106.7 points allowed per 100 possessions) in January, but rank 27th on that end of the floor (119.1) in going 1-6 this month, a stretch which has taken them from sixth to 10th in the East. Their opponents have shot much better from outside the paint, but they also rank in the bottom five in both opponent turnover percentage and opponent free throw rate this month. It might not be a coincidence that De’Andre Hunter suffered his knee injury in the last game of January.
Eight of the Hawks’ final 10 games of the first-half schedule are on the road, with their visit to Madison Square Garden on Monday being a critical one in the standings. The Knicks won the first meeting (a game the Hawks led by 15 points in the second half) last month.
ESPN — No. 21
The Hawks made a big splash in free agency this summer, but injuries have prevented those players from helping the cause: Danilo Gallinari (14 games, 40.8% shooting), Rajon Rondo (14 games, 3.4 points, 3.9 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 34.5% shooting), Bogdan Bogdanovic (nine games, 9.9 points, 38.5% shooting and hasn’t played since Jan. 9) and Kris Dunn (has not played this season because of an ankle injury) have not made the impact Atlanta hoped for when bringing them aboard in the offseason.
CBS Sports — No. 26
The Hawks came down to the wire with the Mavs on Wednesday, but the next two losses to the Spurs and Pacers weren’t pretty. The defense was bad and the offense couldn’t keep up, even with Trae Young averaging 21.7 points and 10.7 assists with just 2.7 turnovers per game. Danilo Gallinari is starting to ramp up his minutes, so maybe that will give the offense a shot in the arm with De’Andre Hunter and Bogdan Bogdanovic both sidelined for an extended period.
Injuries have hurt the Hawks this season, though that is something many teams are dealing with this year. The schedule will only get tougher, so let’s hope the Hawks can find a rhythm.