Sports

Are the Hawks pretenders or contenders?

The Atlanta Hawks, who are in the Eastern Conference’s number 10 seed with a 29-31 record, haven’t exactly played the sort of basketball that everyone anticipated them to this season. They’re in a difficult predicament right now, since they’re only one game away from being eliminated from the play-in game.

If Atlanta wants to turn their season around, they need to do it fast, otherwise, they might not make the playoffs.

Do the Hawks have what it takes to turn it around and compete? Let’s take a look at if the Hawks are pretenders or contenders.

Winning an NBA title is never easy. As we have seen with the past 20 champions, every team is going to need something significant to go their way. Whether that is an unfortunate injury to someone, or having guys on the roster step up more than they ever have. There is a reason why winning a championship is so hard, and a reason why we have seen crazy upsets in the past. If a team is going to win a title, they’re going to need everyone on their roster to be playing the best basketball they possibly can, and even sometimes that isn’t enough to get the job done. Matchups are always something that is going to play a major factor, and some teams just know how to get the job done against certain teams when it matters most.

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Are The Hawks Pretenders Or Contenders?

Contenders

2. Trae Young has the ability to win a playoff series for them

Trae Young is currently averaging 27.6 points per game, which is seventh best in the NBA. He’s also averaging 9.3 assists per game, demonstrating his versatility as an offensive player.

Everyone expected this kid to be a star when he first entered the league, but it’s hard to imagine anyone anticipating him to be one of the league’s top scorers.

Trae Young will need to keep playing at this level if the Atlanta Hawks want to make the playoffs and have success while they’re there. Obviously, he won’t be able to do it alone, and his team’s ability to rally around him will be crucial to their long-term success.

On the other hand, he is a below-average defender, but Atlanta does a great job at hiding him in a corner and ensuring that he is not attacked by opposing offensive threats. They must continue to do so in the playoffs, or else they will be unable to stop some of the Eastern Conference’s other premier scoring options.

1. They still have a chance to turn things around and prove that they know how to win when it matters most

What the Atlanta Hawks were able to do a year ago should put fans at rest heading into the second half of the season. This team will not give up at any point this season, based on how well they played last season. They should have no excuse not to get the job done this year in the playoffs if they were able to get the job done last year against some very strong opponents, including almost knocking out the world champion Milwaukee Bucks.

There’s also a case to be made that the Hawks’ postseason performance last year wasn’t as great as many people make it out to be. Beating a team like the New York Knicks isn’t going to wow many people, then they go on to beat a Sixers team that hasn’t had any playoff success in the last decade. Was what the Hawks did really that impressive? Philadelphia has failed to make it out of the second round in recent years, so was what they did really that impressive?

Pretenders

1. A defense that is below average

Given how talented certain Eastern Conference teams are offensively this season, the Hawks will have to figure out how to improve their defensive woes. They are unlikely to achieve the same level of success as they had a year ago if they do not figure out what they need to do on the defensive side of the ball. Atlanta will not only struggle in the playoffs, but there’s also a potential they will fall out of the play-in game and miss out entirely on the postseason. This would be quite disappointing given what they did a year ago, but they are in serious risk of doing so.

Atlanta needs to figure this thing out as soon as possible, at the moment, no one can really call them a contending team in the Eastern Conference.

Heat, Jimmy Butler, Victor Oladipo



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