Our 2021-22 Atlanta Hawks player review series continues with a look at the season of Bogdan Bogdanovic.
When you think of an Atlanta Hawks player with instant offense, the first person that comes to mind is obviously Trae Young. The next person on that list will probably be Bogdan Bogdanovic.
In his second season with the Hawks, Bogdanovic was not the same regular season player he was last year as his points per game and field goal percentage dropped, but he was still an important part when it was time to get a bucket.
Down the stretch of last year’s playoffs, Bogdanovic was dealing with an avulsion fracture that he had to get surgery for in the offseason. Coming into this season, it was still evident that he was acclimated and trying to ramp things back up. He had an up and down start to this season, just like the entire team.
One of the biggest reasons the Hawks were so successful last year was because of his hot shooting, and not being able to get that same production hurt the team. What made things worse was Bogdanovic going down in November with a right ankle sprain that held him out for about three and half weeks. That left the Hawks changing their lineup again, as De’Andre Hunter had already been out for some time with a wrist injury.
Bogdanovic came back and then missed some more time as COVID-19 hit the team hard during the last part of December. Once the calendar year switched over, Bogdanovic was back in the starting lineup for some time, until he missed more time with another knee injury. After coming back from this injury, Nate McMillan elected to have Bogdanovic come off the bench as the sixth man for the rest of the season.
That decision may have secretly worked out for the Hawks and Bogdanovic, because he started to look like his old self, and the team began to get into a groove after an already disappointing season. In the month of February, he averaged 17 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 3.6 assures while shooting 43.8 percent from three, all while coming off the bench for the Hawks.
Bogdanovic’s leadership was a big part of the team at times this season. He also didn't have an issue calling out the Hawks play during the season and was completely honest with where they stood.
In a game where the Hawks were up against the Boston Celtics and ultimately blew the lead, Bogdanovic came out postgame and said “When you’re up 15 and they lose one of the top two guys on the team and if you're not able to win that game, you’re not a good team.”
Bogdanovic was also one of Young’s biggest supporters on the team, and you could tell through the first two seasons of them playing together the type of respect that they have for each other.
Heading into the postseason, it seemed as if Bogdanovic was healthy, but at times during the series against the Heat he didn't look like himself. Games 2 and 3 were his best games of the series, but Games 1 and 4 were not his best. In Game 5, Bogdanovic was ruled out with the Hawks season in jeopardy, and Nate McMillan mentioned him having heavy legs in the previous game.
To the end the season, you can say Bogdanovic’s second-half stretch was a major part of the Hawks improvement, but injuries are still a concern for the 29-year-old. Of course, everybody has heard Travis Schlenk’s and Tony Ressler’s comments about improving the team, and it is unsure if Bognanovic will be a part of the future of the team.
In Bogdanovic’s exit interview, he had a lot of optimism for next season.
“I feel like I'm going to have the best season of my life next year, really,” Bogdanovic said.