Atlanta Hawks Mailbag: Prince And Paupers

Ab Stanley

With all the injuries and late season moves, the Atlanta Falcons has been a shell of the team that started the season. With the front office not wanting to add veterans or heavy salaries, they had to get creative. Signing cheap players that were either waived or playing in the G-league was their best (and probably only) option.

Andrew White made his NBA debut on February 14th, about a month after signing a two way (NBA & G-league) contract on January 15th. He’s averaging 5.0 points per game, playing sparingly in 12 games since joining the team.

Damion Lee is in the middle of his second ten day contract with the Hawks, the first of which he signed on March 13th. Lee has played in seven total games for Atlanta and has actually started four of them. He has benefitted the most from the Kent Bazemore injury and received much more playing time due to his effort.

The shooting guard is averaging 9.4 points and 4.1 rebounds for the Hawks in his brief time there. Atlanta has a roster of young players and outcasts, with a few of them playing for a 2018-2019 roster spot.

The Hawks have very little to play for with eight games left in the season. Professionalism, pride and gaining experience are the only things on the short list of goals the team can accomplish for the remainder of the season. Head coach Mike Budenholzer has the undesirable task of keeping players motivated for a stretch run that will amount to nothing.

One player who is thriving through all this is Taurean Prince. The second year forward is averaging 13.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game on the season. He has cranked those numbers up to 20.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per in his last ten games.

His shot selection has improved and with him getting the bulk of the shots, his confidence is building. Prince can score from any one of the triple threat positions and has a solid long range shot. He’s drawing more fouls as he gets comfortable as a go-to scorer, even finishing one game with double digit free throw attempts during this stretch.

Prince is a vital key to the Hawks’ future success. His development as a wing who can score gives Atlanta much more options (and one less hole to fill) when it comes to free agency and the draft. With all the bigger names hurt and only a few games left, the offense will go through Prince. Now he can gain some  experience as a team leader, something else the Hawks will need for the 2018-2019 season.

Ab Stanley

Atlanta, GA

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