The Atlanta Hawks had a mixed start to the season, with early losses followed by a four-game winning streak. During this successful period, the team benefited from having seven or more players consistently scoring in double digits. The addition of Jalen Johnson to the starting lineup contributed to their success, as well as improved shot-making.
However, the team faced shooting inconsistencies in their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, which was a problem they struggled to overcome. Atlanta Hawks Broadcaster Mike Conti joined Andy and Randy on the Midday Show and agreed with Randy that the NBA is a "make or miss" league, highlighting that the Hawks were getting the uncontested looks they wanted but struggled with their shooting success. He also mentioned that Coach Quin Snyder would have liked to see them take more shots to create additional scoring opportunities.
While Trae Young has been putting up his typical stats with 22 points and 10 assists per game, his scoring hasn't been as effortless as usual. His floater has faced challenges and the three ball isn’t falling at it’s usual clip but he's compensated by getting to the foul line frequently. Notably, his defensive skills have improved. Dejounte Murray, Young's backcourt partner, is off to the best start of his career, averaging 23 points per game with impressive shooting percentages, especially from beyond the arc.
Young emerging talents like Jalen Johnson and Onyeka Okongwu have been making their presence known. Johnson has embraced his increased role at power forward, demonstrating versatility in scoring, facilitating the offense, and has had no shortage of high flying, poster inducing dunks. Okongwu, although not starting, is growing into his role as a stretch center. He's showcasing newfound confidence and shooting ability, even from three-point range.
Despite this positivity, the team has shown some inconsistencies. They experienced a tough loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, struggling in the third quarter. They've also relied on come-from-behind wins during their four-game streak. While this adaptability is valuable, consistent shot-making, Johnson's aggression, and Okongwu's ability to defend without fouling will be essential for sustained success. The team has the potential to remain among the top five in NBA.com's power rankings with these improvements.