Four stats to know behind the Hawks’ slow start to the season

After a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals, the Atlanta Hawks had high hopes of getting into the 2021-22 season with a healthy list and renewed expectations.

Throughout the first few weeks, it has not been close to what they expected, sitting at 4-8 on the season after their 110-98 loss to the Utah Jazz.

With five losses in a row, here are four statistics that paint a difficult picture of their start to the season.

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7: Fighting on the road

Eight of the Hawks’ first 12 games this season have come off the State Farm Arena, and they have really struggled to find any rhythm away from home, which now sits at 1-7 this season.

Their lone road victory came against the humble New Orleans Pelicans, who have been missing striker Zion Williamson all year. It will not be much easier for Atlanta after losses to the Warriors and Jazz, as it now travels to Denver to take on the Nuggets.

It has not helped that the Hawks have to face the 76ers, Wizards, Nets, Suns, Warriors and Jazz away early in the season.

111.5: The defense has a lot of work to do

The Hawks will not push you down, but they have enough useful defenders to protect the paint and athletic wingers to fight shots. But they are not making a whole lot of them so far this season.

Their defense is currently ranked 27th in the league, giving 111.5 points per 100 ball possessions. Only the Grizzlies, Pelicans and Hornets have a poorer defense this season.

Clint Capela is still working back after recovering from an Achillies problem in the low season that limited his minutes through the first week of the season. When he’s back on the run, the Hawks defense should join.

While needing help at the edge, they had no answer for Steph Curry this week, who threw a 50-piece at them in the bay.

Does not get to the line

The most striking part of the Hawks’ early offensive games has been their lack of free throws.

After the All-Star break last season, they finished fourth in penalty kicks (18.5) and seventh in attempts (23.1), and this season that number has dropped.

Through 12 matches, they make only 15.1 free throws on 18.7 attempts per. match, where point guard Trae Young experiences a significant drop-off, and his penalty throw drops on average from 8.7 attempts per. match last season to 5.3 in 2021-2022.

A combination of teams that anticipate Young’s moves and the new rules that work against players like Young and James Harden, who are professionals to look for contact, have seen the Hawks stare at officials in pursuit of a whistle.

“I do not want to get too fined, but it’s frustrating,” Young said last month.

“There are a lot of missed calls. It’s basketball. It’s just, it feels like they’re learning and they’re just – I do not know. It’s frustrating.”

12: Is the rotation too deep?

One of the Hawks’ biggest strengths last season was the fact that they had so much depth in several positions that they were able to cover any injury problems … but what about when everyone is healthy?

During the preseason, it turned out that it was hard to find chemistry with so many guys out there, but currently Nate McMillan has 12 players who have an average of at least 10 minutes per game. match and seven different players north for 20 plus minutes at night.

DeAndre Hunter, who missed most of last season’s playoffs, has been huge for them this season, playing nearly 30 minutes a night, while Cam Reddish’s continued improvement has at times forced Kevin Huerter to the bench. Throw Delon Wright and Gorgui Dieng in and add their bench depth and rookie Sharife Cooper, who can barely see the floor, the Hawks have a host of players battling for rotation minutes who just aren’t there.

While managing the list between development and trying to win, the front office may be able to make some big decisions regarding their veterans while their young talent continues to flourish.

What’s next?

Luckily for the Hawks, after their trip to Denver, they will return to the State Farm Arena for a five-game home game.

They have turned their home arena into a fortress this season (3-1) and have a series of winable matches against shorthanded Bucks, Magic, Celtics, Hornets and Thunder.

It looks tough for Atlanta at the moment, but the schedule has not done them any favors so far. Let’s check in again after this five-game series and we’ll know a lot more about where they actually stand.

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