The Atlanta Hawks have emerged as one of the better offensive teams in the Eastern Conference, and that's helped them get off to a quick start under first-year head coach Mike Budenholzer.
Led by Jeff Teague and Al Horford, along with new frontcourt addition Paul Millsap, the Hawks have stormed out to a 7-5 record that gives them the No. 4 record in the East. They're starting to look like a playoff lock once more, though there are obviously a lot of games left to be played.
That "playoff lock" status shouldn't be much of a surprise, but the manner in which Atlanta has begun the season is a little shocking.
In this article, I'll be handing out grades to the 10 players averaging the most minutes per game through the first dozen games of the season.
Somehow, that means Dennis Schroder (the much-ballyhooed German rookie), Elton Brand, John Jenkins and Pero Antic don't get discussed anywhere other than this opening slide. The same can be said about Jared Cunningham, although that's not as surprising.
Perhaps it will change going forward, but Coach Bud has found a set of players he likes and trusts, and it's working for Atlanta. It just isn't the group we expected, as Gustavo Ayon, Mike Scott, Cartier Martin and Shelvin Mack have carved out surprisingly large roles.
So, let's get out those red pens and start grading.
Note: All stats, unless otherwise indicated, come from Basketball-Reference and are current as of Nov. 21.