How the Hawks can flip the script in 2021

Illustration by Monique

In the NBA, most teams are built in one of two ways. Type A is built to win now, with seasoned veterans and championship pedigree experience in the playoffs. 

Type B contains teams still looking to find an identity. They are young, have much to learn and usually have one or two older guys on the team for locker room presence.

When you have a team as young as head coach Lloyd Pierce’s (average age of 24.6 years old), it is important to properly rebuild the roster. The Hawks fit the Type B description now, but Type A is not far away. 

Atlanta may lack a little defensively but they have great emerging defensive stars who can pick up the slack. 

The continued development of Cam Reddish is pivotal as well. Throughout his 2019-20 season, the rookie gave fans flashes of a potentially great two-way player. 

Whenever the Hawks played marquee matchups, Reddish guarded the best perimeter player for the opposing team. It showed the level of trust head coach Lloyd Pierce has in him to get it done on the defensive end. 

“He’s been playing outstanding once he gets that swagger, that juice going like I know he has; he’s going to be a great player in this league,” Young said about Reddish.

The great thing about this Atlanta team is that they are young and, with many being on rookie deals, quite the bargain. There is not an ego in sight on the team and nobody who is too concerned with money, at least until their rookie contracts expire. 

The road will not be easy for Atlanta, especially with the top-tier teams in the east continuing to see their talent thrive. The Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics are all win-now teams. The dropoff from three to four in the Eastern Conference is, well, drastic. 

Atlanta has something special brewing and will continue to get better. All that is needed is the continued growth of players around Young and a great draft selection come October.