The Atlanta Hawks are battling injuries, but they have kept a hold on the No. 4 spot in the East. This past week perhaps contained some of the best wins on this season simply due to players missing from the lineup. You have to give credit where it is due to the coaching staff for battling and keeping the Hawks afloat as they battle for positioning in the playoff mix.
ESPN — No. 12
Will Nate McMillan get some love when it comes time to vote for NBA Coach of the Year? Since McMillan took over on March 2, the Hawks have gone 15-5, the fourth-best record in the league. Only the Nuggets, Suns and Nets have had better marks in that stretch. Atlanta also has battled injuries throughout the season, but with Trae Young, Danilo Gallinari, Tony Snell and John Collins among those out on Sunday, the Hawks came away with a big win against Charlotte on the back of Bogdan Bogdanovic’s season-high 32 points and a career-high eight 3-pointers.
CBS Sports — No. 12
Another solid week for the Hawks, who capped things off with a win in Charlotte on Sunday without Trae Young and Danilo Gallinari. Bogdan Bogdanovic took over the offense against the Hornets, scoring 32 points on 8-for-16 3-point shooting, while Brandon Goodwin added 17 points on 7-for-10 shooting in a spot start for Young. In the three games he played this week, Young was brilliant with averages of 28.7 points and 10.7 assists on 41 percent 3-point shooting. Clint Capela continues to be a beast in the middle, putting up 18 points and 12.3 rebounds per game this week.
NBA.com — No. 13
The Hawks had to wait on Clint Capela after trading for him last February. But their patience has been rewarded, Capela has had a terrific two-way season, and the Hawks have won the last six games that he’s has played, outscoring their opponents by 20.2 points per 100 possessions in his 206 minutes on the floor this month. For the season, they’ve allowed 6.4 fewer points per 100 possessions with Capela on the floor (107.6) than they have with him off the floor (114.0), a significant differential given that he’s mostly on the floor against opposing starters.
The Hawks also had to wait on Bogdan Bogdanovic after he suffered an avulsion fracture in his right knee in the ninth game of the season. But patience is paying off there, as well. Bogdanovic has averaged 21.6 points over the last eight games, shooting 34-for-66 (52%) from 3-point range. The Hawks have won the last two games they’ve played without Trae Young, with Bogdanovic registering his two highest usage-rate marks of the season. He had 32 points, draining eight of his 16 3-point attempts, along with the two game-sealing free throws after Lou Williams’ go-ahead drive.
The Hawks are in a rhythm right now and still managing to win despite key players missing from the rotation each night. With the upcoming stretch appearing favorable from a schedule standpoint, there is a good opportunity for Atlanta to hopefully put some distance between themselves and the other teams in order to possibly set up homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs.