• Michael Lynch

A Look at the Hawk Before the Postseason

The Dwight Howard experiment hasn’t worked since Orlando. Korver is shooting wide-open threes thanks to amazing passes from LeBron and Kyrie. They were an oversight for most NBA fans. Why is that?

The Hawks ended up being 43-38 and somehow stole the 5th seed in the playoffs… How? Right before the All-Star game, they were in “Tank mode”. They traded their sharp shooter Kyle Korver to the best team in the East the Cavaliers. Then, for some reason, they decided not to trade Paul Millsap. Then they just won enough games to still get into the playoffs… right?

Enter Coach Budenholzer. This man should be in the Coach of the Year conversation. He has the Hawks with a defensive rating of 105.6, which is 4th in the league. They run the 10th best pace in the league, even though they have the 27th ranked offensive rating in the league. They only exceeded preseason expectations by four games, but those preseason expectations didn’t know they were going to half tank.

Coach Bud even managed to get the most out of Dwight Howard that he could. We all know that Dwight isn’t the best center in the league up anymore. However, Coach Bud was able to create a system that has Dwight running pick-and-roll, grabbing rebounds, and protecting the paint. So far it has worked, and I think Dwight could cause a real problem for the Wizards. There is also one more thing to think about when you wonder how the Hawks got into the playoffs…

Speaking of the playoffs… The Hawks are going up against the Wizards… Do you remember the last time it was Hawks vs. Wizards?

The Hawks did win this series because Wall hurt his hand and was out for most of the series. So this series has history. This series has some fun matchups. You have Wall vs. Schroder, Millsap and Howard vs. Morris and Gortat, Beal and Porter vs. Bazemore and Hardaway Jr. The two starting fives will be fun to watch every game.

In the end, I don’t see the Hawks advancing. You never know what will happen in the NBA though. All Atlanta needs is Wall and Beal to go cold for one game in Washington and then capitalize on that opportunity. I’m pretty sure Washington is going to come out strong though, because they want to beat the Celtics. Coach Bud and Millsap might make this a 5 or 6 game series, but the Wizards are more than likely going to win this series.

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