Last season, the Atlanta Falcons were projected to be a good football team. The offense was high powered, and the defense showed signs of improvement from previous years. In other words, the Falcons were supposed to go places.
Unfortunately, injuries derailed the defense early in the season and they paid for it with loss after loss. After a while, you begin to realize that this team isn’t bad because of one, or two injuries. Maybe they were just bad in general.
The Hawks are going through this phase as we speak.
A team that was supposed to improve the following year and have moderate expectations. Soon after, injuries pile up and you lose your second-best player for 25 games due to suspension.
That’s enough to explain why they’re 6-22 and last in the Eastern Conference, right? Well no, that’s not enough.
What’s really wrong?
The Hawks are a bad basketball team, regardless of injuries and suspensions. They officially hit an all-time low after a loss to the New York Knicks.
Coming into the game, the Knicks were the worst shooting percentage team in the league. It wouldn’t be a surprise if they jumped up a few spots after the night was over.
The point is that John Collins wasn’t going to fix that. He wasn’t going to fix a couple of games the Hawks have played so far without him.
It wasn’t Kevin Huerter’s fault they lost 10 games while he was injured. There’s something wrong with this team, and it goes deeper than just one or two players.
Trae Young does his job every night. He usually leads the team in points and assists. But he also contributes in these losses as well.
Bad passes, rushed shots, lack of defense. Everyone is accountable for being 6-22. The report about players being selfish? It could be true, just look between the lines.
Jabari Parker not being denied in the post. DeAndre’ Bembry driving in the lane through all the traffic. The centers forcing the ball back up after grabbing a rebound and not passing it back out. Vince Carter taking contested threes.
Small things turn into big problems.
Or maybe it’s lack of accountability that’s dwelling in the locker room. Who’s the voice of reason when times get tough? Vince? Evan Turner? Chandler Parsons? Besides those three, everyone else is still finding a way to navigate in the league.
Is it the players coach Llyod Pierce? The coach that has received praise from others outside of the organization? His job shouldn’t be on the line, he’s growing along just with the players as well. He deserves a chance with a better team put around him, and then we can evaluate him.
What if people just put unrealistic expectations on the Hawks to start with? I’ve seen Hawks Twitter say some irrational things, and as every game goes by it looks worse.
Nobody wants to talk about how maybe Kent Bazemore and Taurean Prince were actually big reasons for the Hawks “success” last season. Or maybe how not resigning Dewayne Dedmon (who’s riding the bench in Sacramento) was a mistake.
The Hawks swapped three vets for three rookies, and everybody thought things would get better. De’Andre Hunter is not Taurean. Cam Reddish is not Kent. Bruno Fernando is not Dewayne Dedmon.
Rookies don’t turn into vets overnight.
It doesn’t feel like the season is over, but at the same it feels like it possibly could be. It’s so early in the season, and anything is possible. Sadly, right now it doesn’t look pretty.
Gambling this season? Want to try it just to see what it feels like? Go to MyBookie.ag and use promo code ARMCHAIR25 at checkout. They will match your deposit dollar for dollar. Putting in $100? You’ll now have $200.