This year we saw the growth and development of a young, up and coming, Atlanta Hawks team. We saw the breakout of Trae Young and his growth to a 30PPG and 10APG player. John Collins had his issues at the beginning of the season but finished with near all-star stats. A bunch of young guys who need to become consistent. And the last year Vince Carter who helped these young guys with their role. Despite the fact that we haven't seen them play since March 11th I believe that they have the potential to be a playoff team next year. Today I will be giving my reasons why the Atlanta Hawks will make the playoffs in the 2021 NBA Season.
Ascension of Trae Young
Trae Young came off, in my opinion, an All-NBA caliber season. He had phenomenal averages of 29.6 PPG, 4.3PPG and 9.3APG at the age of 21 years old. Young started in his first all star game and more impressively he started. Young had recorded 12 40 point games and 1 50 point game. To me, that's superstar numbers already. Of course the team did not have much success, but there are multiple reasons for that. A point that is used to target Trae Young is his lack of defense. That is a great point. But for what he can do on offense and his wing defenders that have been paired around him, it shouldn't be too big of a problem. Next year I think that Trae Young can take that MVP level jump and with an Eastern Conference that looks like it's fair game to make the playoffs, he can definitely lead that team to a bottom 6-8 seed.
Growth from their Young Talent
The Hawks have a plethora of young talent to surround Trae Young with. The most notable would be John Collins. The star power forward had a shaky start to the season with a 25 game suspension due to failing the leagues anti-drug policy. He came back and put up All-star level stats averaging 21.6PPG and 10.1 RPG. He will have to take the Blake Griffin role of this team, being the athletic forward who is the side kick to the lead guard(Chris Paul therefore being Trae in this situation). He would have to take a step up on the defensive end, but he already has all the tools on offense to be successful. Kevin Huerter has proven to be a decent complimentary piece and a talented shooter at 12.8PPG in his second year. And finally the two who I think can have the greatest impact, Cam Reddish and De'Andre Hunter. Ok, I may be a bit biased due to the fact that they are both Philadelphia guys and I have seen Cam Reddish before(I didn't get a photo, but my friends did). I believe these guys have great two way potential and I'll go on a limb and say that they have Paul George/Kawhi Leonard esq potential. Both averaged over 10PPG their rookie year and put up decent numbers on decent shooting. Cam Reddish is explosive and has that energy and can develop the defensive end to help Trae Young. Hunter can take that Kawhi Leonard role and if he can get his scoring up, he can be a great player in this young core.
The Hawks also have good role players like the newly acquired Clint Capela, Jeff Teague and Deandre Bembry. Let me know what you guys think and if you disagree let me know!
Link to Newest Podcast Episode: https://youtu.be/hHyCERLi1To