The Atlanta Hawks took the NBA and the Eastern Conference by storm with not a single soul expecting this squad to play at this type of high level. Adopting a philosophy similar to that particular of the San Antonio Spurs, all of their starters for Atlanta average double figures. As a group, they are second overall in assists per game, which is the sixth best scoring unit in the league.
Yes, Atlanta is everything an instructor at any level could dream of. As we look from a offensively sound team that shares the basketball to a defensive team, then we look at the fundamentals that has the Hawks looking at the top seed in the East. Not just is a premier seed possible, but so is a 60-win season after “Hotlanta” downed the struggling Brooklyn Nets, 113-102, to enhance to 38-8.
But before everyone jumps aboard the bandwagon, I want to offer some words of caution. On the basis of the success of the Spurs, one would think that the Hawks could simulate the same. Not too fast because Atlanta does not have nearly the same experience. Sure, Jeff Teague, Al Horford and Paul Millsap have already been to the playoffs. Yet, the success hasn’t been there.
Not just does not enough postseason success worry me, but who’s the “go-to guy” in desperate times? A 17-game win streak is fantastic and everything, however, April and May don’t value regular season numbers. You look at other teams in the East and can simply explain the “go-to guy,” or at the least assume. With the Hawks, you can’t even put a figure on that player.
If I had to, I would say “The Man” for Atlanta is Teague, but this really is really the first season he has had the star role to himself and no body knows if they can step-up come Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals if the Hawks ensure it is that deep.
It is hard to not root for Atlanta as a result of how they play the game. Still, there’s something deep inside me that will not rely on this team for these reasons. The Hawks may be soaring high in the sky now, but it would have been a hard landing come playoff time.