In sports we always seem to focus on the positives, but never look at how the negatives can affect a certain situation. Back in 2012 when the Lakers signed Dwight Howard, critics were quick to deem L.A. the best team in the NBA. What many failed to realize was that the Lakers didn’t have a bench with depth, which hurt them as the season progressed.
Last season, we thought the Boston Celtics were the clear favorites to dethrone the Golden State Warriors. We never realized how having so many ball dominant players on one team could possibly ruin a team’s chances and see them get bounced out in the second round of the playoffs. There could be many things right with a team, but behind all the glitter and gold are problems underneath the surface.
The Hawks have gotten the attention around the NBA world as one of the most fun, young teams. They have players that are primed to be big time in the near future. Some say they’ll be on the rise in the next couple of years. But what if there is some things that we’re looking past?
The Hawks offense will not be something to worry about this upcoming season. Trae Young and Kevin Huerter came into their own during their rookie seasons. John Collins had an outstanding sophomore season, and probably played the best in his entire draft class. They also added shooters around the board that can space the floor at any time. The offense will come, but what about the defense?
There are some players who can hold their own on defense for the Hawks. DeAndre’ Bembry was one of the best perimeter defenders on the team. Kevin Huerter, Deandre Hunter, and Cam Reddish are solid defenders as well. But how will this team perform as a team on that side of the ball.
It’s already known that Trae Young can be a liability on defense, and teams will attack him if they can. How will Alex Len fare against centers in the league since he’s now a starter? Can Lloyd Pierce get the team all on one accord so they can be a solid defensive team?
A log jam at the forward position
I’ve talked about this already, but the Hawks have a lot of wing players on the team. That could be a good thing for depth purposes, but also a bad thing because players need minutes. Investing in players like Hunter and Reddish will make players like Chandler Parsons and Allen Crabbe see less minutes.
Vince Carter said before re-signing with the Hawks that he’d like to play a certain amount of minutes in his last year. Don’t forget about Bembry, who was a key part to the system last season. Pierce will have his hands full on how he’ll manage these minutes and keep everybody happy.
Slow growth for the youth
Some people put their expectations on a certain team or player, and think that things are going to happen quick. I’ve already heard some things like Trae Young making the All-Star team, the Hawks making the playoffs, and Cam Reddish being this unstoppable player. These are usually fans with these kind of takes, and they have to understand these things might not happen yet.
With how young this Hawks team is, it would be a surprise to see them in the playoffs as early as this season. They have a lot of raw talent, but they also lack a lot of experience. Reddish was JUST cleared for basketball activities, and it will take him some time to get in shape. Trae Young making the All-Star team is not that big of a reach, but in hindsight this will be his second season in the NBA and he has competition in the East at the point guard position.
All together, it might take a couple of years for this Hawks team actually mature and make some noise. Young teams just don’t hop on the scene that quick, it takes time and patience.
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