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5 takeaways from the Atlanta Hawks' historic 2020-21 NBA season 

Milwaukee Bucks vs Atlanta Hawks - Game Six
Milwaukee Bucks vs Atlanta Hawks - Game Six
Arhaan Raje
ANALYST

The Atlanta Hawks made an unexpected run in the 2020-21 NBA Playoffs, making the Eastern Conference Finals after failing to qualify for the postseason for three years.

The Hawks were 14-20 in the 2020-21 season at one stage but recovered to post a 41-31 record to finish fifth. They improved a lot post the All-Star break, which almost helped them secure home-court advantage in the playoffs.

Despite starting on the road in all three rounds of the 2021 NBA Playoffs, the Atlanta Hawks beat the New York Knicks in round one (4-1) and the Philadelphia 76ers in round two (4-3), winning both their closeout games on the road.

The Atlanta Hawks got off to a strong start against the Milwaukee Bucks in the Conference Finals as well, winning Game 1 on the road. Unfortunately, they couldn't keep up with the squad depth of their opponents, especially after Trae Young's ankle injury, and lost the series 2-4 to see their campaign draw to a close.

Nonetheless, the Atlanta Hawks have a lot of positives to take home. On that note, let's have a look at five takeaways for Trae Young and the crew as they kickstart their off-season.


#5 Emergence of role players

Cam Reddish
Cam Reddish

The Atlanta Hawks had contributions flying in from everywhere. They had to deal with multiple injuries to key players like John Collins, DeAndre Hunter and Cam Reddish at different stages of the season but overcame that, thanks to key contributions from role players.

Nine of their players averaged more than ten points per game in the regular season, but they still reached the NBA Playoffs. The likes of Kevin Huerter, Danillo Gallinari and Lou Williams were massive for the team, delivering the goods whenever called upon, especially during the playoffs.

Cam Reddish was out injured for most of the season. He played just four games in the NBA Playoffs but was phenomenal on his return. He averaged 12.8 points during that stretch, shooting 50% from the floor, giving the Hawks a huge boost for the next season as he returns to full fitness.

The Atlanta Hawks will have most of these players in their roster for the next year as well, something that could help them make another deep run in the playoffs.


#4 The Atlanta Hawks' $160 million spending in the 2020 free agency paid off

Bogdan Bogdanovic
Bogdan Bogdanovic

The Atlanta Hawks were a busy team in the 2020 NBA off-season. After missing out on the playoffs for three seasons, they were ready to build their roster and surround Trae Young, Clint Capela and John Collins with more talent. They acquired the likes of Bogdan Bogdanovic, Rajon Rondo and Solomon Hill in free agency, which eventually proved to be a fruitful decision for the franchise.

Bogdanovic turned into one of the team's leading stars and a lethal shooting weapon at the offensive end as he helped take massive pressure off Trae Young. He averaged 16.4 points (career-high), 3.6 assists and 3.4 rebounds during the regular season. He also shot a career-high 43% from the deep, making a minimum of three shots from long-range per game on seven attempts.

Bogdanovic proved he could deliver in the playoffs as well, averaging 14.1 points per contest. He also scored a career-high 28 points in Game 5 against the Milwaukee Bucks, making 7 of 16 threes on the night.

However, the Hawks did not get to experience 'Playoff Rondo' in the postseason. as Rajon Rondo was traded mid-season to the LA Clippers. Nonetheless, they were able to acquire a valuable veteran in the form of Lou Williams in return, who was terrific for the side. He averaged ten points per contest in the regular season and eight points per game in 15 minutes of playing time per game in the Playoffs.

It would be fair to say that the Hawks' free agency acquisitions were top notch, and the money was well spent, considering the deep playoffs run the Atlanta Hawks made.

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Edited by Bhargav
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