Three things we learned about the Hawks last week

Illustration by Myah Anglin |The Signal

The Atlanta Hawks ended a tough week with another devastating home loss to the Indiana Pacers and have now fallen to the 10 seed in the Eastern Conference. 

Many things went wrong this week, but this is what stood out the most. 

De’Andre Hunter’s absence on the defensive end dearly missed

Last week, opponents scored 123 points per game in this week’s games, which is not ideal for the injured-riddled Hawks to win. 

Each team also shot better than 50% from the field and connected on over 35% of their threes. 

The Hawks also gave up multiple 40-point quarters in the short three-game stretch. 

To put it simply, Atlanta was horrid on defense. The team has to be better and allow the defense to create transition opportunities on offense. 

Atlanta has an elite interior defender in Clint Capela. However, with Hunter out for the foreseeable future, the team’s perimeter defense must improve going forward. 

Trae Young’s All-Star caliber numbers not translating to wins

After putting on a scoring and all-round display in a 118-117 road loss to Dallas Mavericks, a late-game no-call infuriated Young. He finished the game with 25 points, seven rebounds and 15 assists, and a $20,000 fine from the NBA for “directing inappropriate language toward a game official.

Despite scoring 25 points against the San Antonio Spurs, the Hawks were minus-27 points with Young on the floor.

Then, Young finished with an underwhelming nine points on 3-9 shooting. He did hit 9-11 of his free throws in that game. 

Young will have to be more aggressive offensively as the Hawks need his long-range sniping ability and great playmaking to propel them forward. 

He needs to attempt at least 15 shots a game for Atlanta to have a chance at winning. 

John Collins is on the trade block

Young’s favorite pick-and-roll partner of three years may be on the move before the March 25 trade deadline. Collins’ name has been circulating in trade talks more intensely this week as the talks have started to heat up. 

The fourth-year pro’s points and rebounds have taken a dip from last season. A season removed from 21.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game, Collins is averaging 18.1 and 7.8, respectively.

Capela’s presence in the starting lineup drastically explains the dip, but Collins is still a versatile rebounder. 

Collins also has an impending free agency in the offseason and has continuously expressed his expectations for a max deal. Atlanta may not be willing to match the offer they receive from another team, forcing them to deal him in the next month and a half. 

Overall, Collins is a great big who has made strides in his defense and shooting efficiency. Despite his inconsistent scoring, he still gives any team a reliable second or third scoring option.

Atlanta provided more questions than answers this week and are in a must-win scenario week to avoid falling further in the Eastern Conference standings.