The Atlanta Hawks are inching towards the end of the season and trying their best to avoid the play-in tournament. At this point, it is looking like the Hawks still have the chance to get homecourt advantage in the first round so every game matters to close this season. With a couple of wins this week, let’s take a look at where the Hawks rank in this weeks roundup.
ESPN — No. 13
A big part of Atlanta’s start to the season was dealing with a slew of injuries. And it could get another addition back soon. De’Andre Hunter has played in just two games since Jan. 29, but he is listed as questionable for Monday’s contest against Washington. In 20 games (18 starts) this season, Hunter is averaging 16 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 50.2%. How coach Nate McMillan uses Hunter at this point in the season remains to be seen. When Hunter returned for two games in mid-March, he came off the bench
CBS Sports — No. 12
The Hawks picked up impressive wins over the Blazers and Suns before losing a barnburner to the Pacers on Thursday, as they continue to jar for playoff positioning. Bogdan Bogdanovic has been one of the keys to their second-half surge, averaging 23 points on 57 percent 3-point shooting in three games this week. Trae Young struggled from distance, but averaged 22.3 points and 11 assists, while Danilo Gallinari put up nearly 20 points per game on 53 percent 3-point shooting.
NBA.com — No. 13
Holding the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Heat, the Hawks control their own destiny in regard to the 4 seed and home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. And they’re one of three teams – the Nets and Clippers are the others – that don’t have any more games against the 16 teams that currently have winning records. But if there’s a below-.500 team that you don’t want to be facing right now, it’s the Wizards, who the Hawks will host on Monday and Wednesday. Atlanta held the Wiz under a point per possession (Russell Westbrook didn’t even have a double-double) in the first meeting, but that was in January.
The Hawks’ own offense has scored almost 126 points per 100 possessions in their four games in May, with their five leading scorers combining for an effective field goal percentage of 67%. Bogdan Bogdanovic has been rather ridiculous, shooting 90-for-183 (49.2%) from 3-point range over his last 20 games.
Only Brooklyn (+8.4) has seen a bigger jump in points scored per 100 possessions from last season than the Hawks (+7.2), who have gone from 25th to ninth on that end of the floor. And over these last six weeks, the Atlanta offense has been [flame emoji] with Bogdanovic and Trae Young on the floor together. But a return from De’Andre Hunter (he’s getting close) could really help on defense, where the Hawks got torched by the shorthanded Pacers on Thursday.
Well, time is running out on the season and the Hawks are in a favorable position. Again, even though there are only a handful of games left, every game is of great importance.