The Atlanta Hawks started the week on a small losing streak before getting a win to break it. Injuries have not been kind to the Hawks, as they will now be without second-year forward De’Andre Hunter for at least a few weeks after a knee procedure. Hunter was having a great season so far that will unfortunately be put on hold. As a result, all eyes will be on Cam Reddish and Atlanta’s other supporting pieces as the Hawks look to stay afloat in the standings.
With that in mind, this week’s roundup of NBA power rankings is here.
NBA.com — No. 15
Like Denver/Jokic, the Hawks have five losses in games in which they outscored their opponents with Trae Young on the floor. The latest of those was Wednesday, when the Mavs took control of the game in the 5:18 that Young sat in the second half. The Hawks brought in reinforcements this season, but their offensive drop-off when Young sits (they’ve scored 16.7 fewer points per 100 possessions with him off the floor than they have with him on the floor) is bigger than it was last season (15.5). It’s the second biggest on-off OffRtg differential among players who’ve played at least 250 minutes this season, right behind that of Jokic (17.2).
The Hawks are obviously missing Bogdan Bogdanovic (avulsion fracture in his right knee), who got a slow-and-steady progress report last week and was supposed to be the guy running the second-unit offense. Rajon Rondo hasn’t helped much; The Hawks have scored just 100.9 points per 100 possessions in his 199 minutes with Young off the floor. De’Andre Hunter has seen improvement offensively, but has missed the last four games and is set to have meniscus surgery on Monday.
There is hope in that Danilo Gallinari has played in nine straight games since returning from his ankle injury, logging a season-high 24:35 in the Hawks’ win over Toronto on Saturday. Gallo’s effective field goal percentage (54.8%) and true shooting percentage (career-high 64.2% – he’s been getting to the line) are actually up from last season, but both his minutes and his mobility have been limited.
The Hawks are enjoying one of their two three-day breaks of the first-half schedule, but they still have three more back-to-backs (one this Friday and Saturday) over the next four weeks, having gone 2-6 (0-4 in the second game) in back-to-backs thus far.
ESPN — No. 15
It has been a career year so far for Hawks center Clint Capela in the rebounding department. He’s averaging career highs in rebounds per game (14.6), defensive rebounds per game (9.8) and offensive rebounds per game (4.8). And he’s doing it all while playing only 30.9 minutes per game this season. He’s pulling down 17.7 rebounds per 36 minutes, which would be the highest (among qualified players) since Dennis Rodman averaged 18.9 rebounds per 36 minutes in 1994-95 with the San Antonio Spurs.
CBS Sports — No. 14
Atlanta went 1-3 this week with losses to the Lakers, Jazz and a hungry Mavericks team. Trae Young missed the Utah game, but ended the week with a 28-point, 13-assist performance in the Hawks’ win over the Raptors. John Collins had a strong week, averaging 23.3 points and 8.3 rebounds on 43 percent 3-point shooting.
The Hawks continue their battle to stay in the playoff picture and aim to move the record above the .500 mark in the near future. Injuries have been a battle for Atlanta this year and, again, the team’s depth on the wing is about to be tested.