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Can the Hawks build on their success?
Oct 19, 2021, 4:38:00 AM

Can the Hawks build on their success?

The Atlanta Hawks need to get back to their strong pace in the 2021-22 season. They fell short of earning their chance in the 2021 NBA Finals, but it was still a dream run by the team over the past few years. Now the question remains as to how they can get back there.

The Hawks saw a huge surge in the 2020-21 season, and they are hoping to do the same in the 2021-22 run. It was a stunning change of pace for the team, and they turned their chances around from being a lowly team all the way to being a showoff in the East Finals.

It is rare for a coaching change to turn around a team’s chances. The Hawks went 14-20 under Lloyd Pierce all the way to 27-11 under Nate McMillan. In short, it just took them just a few months to get better.

If the Coach of the Year was defined by the impact on the team’s success, Nate McMillan would have been an easy winner on that note. Now that the Hawks have a chance to prove their worth, this should come easy for them as long as they build on the same success they had in the 2021 run.

It was not just the winning rate alone that mattered for the team. The Hawks went from being at the 25th place on offence and 28th on defence in 2019-20 all the way to 9th and 18th in the 2020-21 run. Then there was a huge rally by the Hawks where they won 18 games all the way to the East Finals.

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The Hawks have marched with heads high, and they have won a lot of games to plow their way into the East Finals against some of the best teams in the league. No one expected the team to win lots of games all the way to that point and they surpassed every bar set upon them.

The team’s growth will mean that it has to start from their young stars. Trae Young is ready to take on the lead role for the team and his star run is just getting started. That means that he may be ready for a big change in his plays with the team, so that should give him a chance to shine brighter than ever.

In addition, the Hawks also have to place better in the East. They may have shown a lot of grit on the road but no one could even beat them in their home games in the playoffs. Earning a high seed in the playoffs should give them an edge should they go for a title.

None of it is easy, but the Hawks are keen to do what they can to win a title by the end of the 2021-22 season.

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Words: Paul Daniel Flores

Image: PA