The Atlanta Hawks’ lack of talent was evident during the All-Star game.
For Atlanta Hawks fans and the rest of the NBA, this weekend was all about star power. The Hawks will begin the “second half” of their schedule with the same lineup that helped them to a 28-30 record in the first half. In actuality, they’ve completed about 71% of their schedule and have a team that is essentially identical to the one that took them to the Eastern Conference Finals last season.
One thing became brutally evident as the All-Star festivities took over, culminating in the All-Star game on Sunday night.
The Hawks still lack the star power needed to win a championship.
There isn’t any magical formula that needs you to be an expert analytics guru to figure out. The eye exam would not need to be elaborate to uncover the issue; this is not an Xs and Os problem.
Without greater star power, an Atlanta Hawks title will be difficult to achieve.
Devin Booker posted a snapshot of the Phoenix Suns’ would-be 19-game winning run being snapped by the Hawks just before the break. It performed a wonderful job of highlighting what the present group’s ceiling is. So it seems paradoxical to argue that they are still a piece or two away from a title.
There isn’t a single All-Star representing any of the key championship candidates in this weekend’s contests.
The Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers are the closest competitors, but Ben Simmons and Kyrie Irving have both gone to multiple All-Star games, and James Harden is a past MVP on top of it all.
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Former All-Star Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat is another former All-Star.
For a club that has battled with consistency this season, the victory against Phoenix was a high point. But how will they manage if anything happens to Trae Young for a lengthy period of time? This season, they are 2-3 without him, and they are 9-13 all-time without him. It’s both a blessing and a curse that he’s held up so well. He’s also playing with fire.
After being diagnosed with an avulsion fracture in his thumb, Chris Paul is projected to miss the next 6-8 weeks for the Suns. Phoenix is clearly relieved to have Booker shoulder the responsibility while Paul recovers.
They are now six games ahead of the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference standings.
Fans of the Hawks will remember the ailment as the same one that plagued Bogdan Bogdanovic’s knee last season. He was also forced to miss time lately due to swelling in his knee.
Young had a great night in his second All-Star game, scoring 13 points and dishing out a game-high 10 assists, joining teammate Joel Embiid and Team LeBron’s Giannis Antetokounmpo as the only two players in the exhibition to earn double-doubles.
He also lobbed several great passes to Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies.
Young’s aim of catching a lob was not met, and he wasn’t especially efficient. However, it was something else he said throughout the weekend that really brought the weekend’s optics home.
If the Hawks want the same thing, they’ll have to hope that the second All-Star is someone else. Clint Capela and John Collins were the closest, but neither was very impressive, finishing 22nd and 23rd in the fan vote, respectively. Collins came in 20th place in the player poll, while Capela came in 50th.
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