The Hawks are not off to a bad start at 6-5, but it feels like it could be better. They have an opening night loss to the Hornets, who have not been a very good team so far, two losses to the Knicks, a loss to the Heat when Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro were out, and a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on the road.
They have a positive point differential and one of the best offenses in the NBA. Dejounte Murray is having one of his best seasons in his young career and the emergence of Jalen Johnson has been huge for the team. One problem that the Hawks have had is the shooting of point guard Trae Young. That has been a taking point around the NBA and Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes said it is the most surprising issue for the Hawks so far this season:
“As many expected, head coach Quin Snyder’s imprint is all over the Atlanta Hawks’ offense following a full offseason to implement his principles. Atlanta is throwing 25 more passes per game, and its scoring efficiency on cuts (off-ball movement is a Snyder staple) is also up significantly. That extra body and ball movement is helping democratize the team’s attack while also, theoretically, generating cleaner looks for everyone on the roster. Trae Young has yet to benefit.
Though the Hawks star guard has been productive in the early going, and though his increased movement away from the ball bodes well for his team’s success in the long run, he just isn’t hitting shots.
On pace to post the lowest field-goal and three-point percentages of his career, the 25-year-old simply hasn’t found his stroke yet—and that’s despite getting more wide-open three-point attempts per game than last year. Young is bound to start hitting his shots, and it helps that many of Atlanta’s supporting pieces—Dejounte Murray and Jalen Johnson, for example—are putting up career-best numbers. But it remains a surprise that the Hawks’ best offensive player is struggling to heat up in better scoring conditions than he’s ever had.”
I am of the belief that Young is going to get it going and when he does, the Hawks are going to be one of the toughest teams in the NBA to beat.