Three things we learned about the Hawks this week

Illustration by Myah Anglin |The Signal

The Atlanta Hawks won just one of their three games last week, falling to 12-17 entering Sunday night’s game against the Denver Nuggets. Once a sixth seed in the conference, the Hawks are struggling mightily. 

Clint Capela continues to be the Hawks’ best rebounder in years

Capela notched double-doubles in all three games this week and was a force to be reckoned with on the glass. 

He was the second-best player this week alongside Trae Young. Against the New York Knicks, Capela scored 15 points and added 18 rebounds, including six offensive. 

In the Hawks’ two-game series against the Boston Celtics, Capela fared well with 24 points and 15 rebounds in Wednesday’s win. He followed that up with 24 points and 13 rebounds. 

He’s simply been a force in the interior and leads the NBA in rebounds, averaging 14 a game. 

He has been the most consistent part of the Hawks team all season. Every week Capela does all he can to help his team, but they keep falling short. 

Trae Young needs to be an All-Star

Young had an All-star caliber week, averaging 31 points per game in the three games. He carried the scoring load, but the team did not follow his lead. 

Against the Knicks, he scored 23 points on 6-19 shooting but drained 10 of 12 free throws. 

Young went on to put on a show against the Celtics in Wednesday Night’s victory, scoring 40 points on an efficient 14-20 and added eight assists. He was also 4-9 from three. 

Young finished his week with a 31-point, 11-assist masterpiece on a 10-16 shooting performance to go with three steals. 

To say he was magnificent last week is an understatement. Young entered Sunday 26.6 points per game and 9.3 assists and, while he may not get the same recognition as other NBA stars, he certainly deserves to be in the conversation. 

He proved this week he should be an All-Star, and he will do whatever it takes to help his team win. 

Atlanta failed to create any traction this week

Atlanta falls to 1-2 on the week and has lower seeds beginning to gain some traction on them. It’s not that this team lacks talent, but the primary issue is the lack of consistency and availability. 

The Hawks are without second-year player De’Andre Hunter, who does all of the little things well. They are missing offseason acquisition Bogdan Bogdanovic, who remains out for the foreseeable future. This week has continued a recent trend for Atlanta, like underwhelming defense and not consistently finishing games. 

This team had its eyes set on a postseason berth since 2017 and looked strong out the gate. Inconsistent play like this week, especially from the perimeter, only makes a playoff berth a more challenging reality to come true. 

Atlanta needs more consistent perimeter play alongside Young and needs to become the team when it first started the season. It begins by improving and ironing out the small things and begin to pick up key victories in the win column.