Final Regular Season Grades for Each Atlanta Hawks Player
The regular season provided an up-and-down journey for the Atlanta Hawks. At times they looked like they could beat any team in the league, but at other times they looked lost and soft on defense, and their performance reflected that.
During the 2012-13 season, Al Horford provided steady production and took the next step in becoming a premier big man. Devin Harris and Lou Williams were plagued by injuries and their performance suffered.
As the Hawks battle the Indiana Pacers in the playoffs, take time to reflect upon how they got here.
Here are final regular season grades for each Atlanta Hawks player.
Horford took the next step in becoming a dominant big man this season. He increased his scoring by five points per game and improved on the boards, with an increase of three rebounds per game from his stats a year ago.
In his sixth year in the league, Horford finally became the low-post presence the Hawks drafted him to be in 2007.
He is now a primary offensive option. Horford took more initiative on the offensive end in coach Larry Drew's system. This year, he averaged five more shot attempts per game than he did a year ago.
To complement the rest of his skill set, Horford is also a skilled passer. He averaged 3.2 assists per game in the regular season.
Horford has the size of a traditional power forward, but he played center for most of the year for the Hawks. Despite being somewhat undersized for the position, he excelled.
If the Hawks are to make a deep run in the playoffs, they are going to do it on the back of Al Horford.
Josh Smith has been the catalyst for the Hawks offense throughout most of his time in Atlanta.
In his ninth year in Atlanta, Smith had another all-star caliber season statistically. Per game, he averaged 17.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists.
One cannot doubt his production, but many questioned Smith's attitude during his contract year. In fact, during TNT's pregame show for Game 1 of the Hawks and Pacers series, Charles Barkley questioned his interest in the series.
Even if that is mere speculation, the fact that there is chatter like that about a team leader is embarrassing.
There is no doubt Smith has the physical tools to be an all-star every year, but his questionable shot selection and attitude has grown thin on Hawks fans.
Smith had another great year this season and has done a lot of good things for the franchise, but both parties will be better off without each other next season
The fourth year point guard out of Wake Forest had his breakout year during the 2011-12 season and he carried that momentum into the 2012-13 campaign.
Teague averaged 14.6 points, 7.2 assists and 2.3 rebounds this season and established himself as the floor general for the team.
Teague shot 45 percent from the field, registered 15 double-doubles and had a 2.52 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Teague is a better driver than he is a shooter. His ability to penetrate and get by his defender opens up the Hawks offense and provides scoring opportunities to the other players on the floor.
Although the Hawks may lose Josh Smith this offseason, Teague is a great facilitator of the offense and he should be able to lessen the impact of Smith's departure.
In his first year with the Hawks, Korver gave the team exactly what they were expecting—a great shooter, but a defensive liability.
This year, Korver started 60 games, which was a career high, and provided a lift on the boards by averaging 4 rebounds per game.
Korver shot 46 percent from three, which was the the second-highest total of his career.
Korver played well throughout the year and provided Atlanta with another deep threat, something a team can never have too many of.
Perhaps a grade of "incomplete" would be more appropriate, as Harris' production was limited by injuries throughout most of the year. But in the time that he did play, he gave the Hawks a boost.
He only averaged 9.9 points and 3.4 assists per game, but his stats do not tell the full story of his impact.
Some statistics that illustrate Harris' importance on the court to the Hawks:
They were 35-23 this season when the guard played; 24-10 when he started; 21-6 when he played more than 25 minutes; and 20-8 when he scored in double figures.
Although Harris was plagued by foot problems during the season, Harris' presence on the court had a positive impact on the Hawks. If he can remain healthy during the playoffs, Atlanta could have some success.
The 12-year veteran had limited contributions to the Hawks this year. He averaged only 5.1 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.
Like Harris, Stevenson was plagued by injuries during the 2012-13 season. Knee and back problems caused him to play in only 56 games. Even when he suited up, though, he had limited production.
Stevenson is not the player he was seven years ago, when he could consistently put up 12-14 points per game.
Since those peak years in the mid-2000s, Stevenson has had numerous injuries. His 56 games this year are the second most he has played in a single season since 2007-08.
If Stevenson is playing for the Hawks next year, expectations will be lower and any production they could get out of him would be a bonus.
Although his minutes were limited, Jenkins played well during his rookie season.
He averaged less than 15 minutes and was only able to average 6.1 points per game with modest assist and rebounding totals. But he played extremely well toward the end.
As Jenkins' minutes increased, so did his production. Jenkins managed to score 20 points in three of the team's final five games.
A premier three-point shooter while at Vanderbilt, Jenkins has the potential to become one at the NBA level. With more experience, he will become a better player. Look for Jenkins to become a more prominent member of the Hawks offense in the coming years.
In only his second year in the league, Johnson provided necessary depth in the frontcourt.
He averaged 6.6 points and just less than 4 rebounds per game. But like Jenkins, Johnson picked up his game as the season came to a close.
In the Hawks' final nine games he scored at least 12 points on five occasions, including a 21-point, 10-rebound performance against the Orlando Magic.
Johnson is undersized for a power forward, but he gets by with grit and determination. His presence on the block often took pressure off Horford and Atlanta's other big men.
Much like Devin Harris, Williams' grade should probably be "incomplete" considering he played only 39 games.
Williams tore his ACL in a game against the Nets on Jan. 18 and has not been in uniform since.
Before the injury, Williams was having a solid season in his first year in Atlanta. He was averaging 14.1 points, 3.6 assists and 2.1 rebounds per game.
The Williams, Harris and Teague combination in the backcourt was a formidable matchup for any opponent. But because of injuries, Hawks fans will have to wait until next year to see that trio on the floor.
Pachulia is another Hawk whose season was cut short due to injury. In theory, at 6'11", Pachulia would be great complement to Horford in the frontcourt, but his production did not live up to expectations this season.
Pachulia averaged 5.9 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. This kind of production is a far cry from his play in the mid-2000s when he was almost averaging a double-double per night.
In the games in which he suited up this year, Pachulia was only able to score more than 10 points on seven occasions and grab 10 or more rebounds in 10 games.
With his size, Pachulia has to be more productive, especially around the rim.
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