After a month what do we know about the 2012-2013 Atlanta Hawks?
Quick starts are important.
Through 15 games the Hawks are 8-2 when ahead at the half and 9-1 when ahead after the 3rd quarter. They are a poised enough bunch to hold a lead when they get it. I firmly believe that the guard play is savy enough to generate quality possessions when ahead in order to preserve wins. Statistics also support this.
They will defend.
The Hawks are a top ten defensive team. They stand 6th in Points Allowed Per Game at 94.2 and 9th is Point Differential at 2.8 Points Per Game despite not being an elite rebounding team. The Hawks defend well inside and out making each game they compete in a winnable one. The effort has been consistent and the win/loss record reflects that.
Coaching is not a weakness.
An old sports adage is that “coaches win or lose close games.” These Atlanta Hawks are 3-1 thus far in games decided by 3 points or less. Coach Larry Drew seems to have the attention and interest of this group. Incorporating so many new faces so easily has been a stroke of genius. Making Kyle Korver a game changer has been amazing. Handing the reigns to the team over to a steadily improving Jeff Teague took gumption. If Coach of the Year awards were given out after a month I would say having this team playing this well certainly deserves an award. (Statistics drawn from NBA.com and ESPN.com)