Atlanta Hawks Power Rankings: Rating Every Player After 1st 6 Weeks

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2013

Atlanta Hawks Power Rankings: Rating Every Player After 1st 6 Weeks

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    Atlanta needed Al Horford to step up this season. Has he been the best player through six weeks?
    Atlanta needed Al Horford to step up this season. Has he been the best player through six weeks?Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Through the first six weeks of the 2013-14 NBA regular season, the Atlanta Hawks are 11-10 and hold second place in the Atlantic Division.

    As expected, Al Horford, Jeff Teague and offseason acquisition Paul Millsap are carrying the team, combining to score 50.3 points per game.

    Behind the trio, how does the performance of the other starters and revamped bench grade out?

    Each player's role is taken into account, and player efficiency is utilized as a comparative measurement, too.

    Note: Statistics accurate as of Saturday, Dec. 8 and taken from and Basketball Reference.

Nos. 15-11: End of the Bench

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    Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

    15. Jared Cunningham, Shooting Guard

    Jared Cunningham was recently recalled from the D-League, and he has only played seven minutes this season.

    The second-year pro will occupy a final spot on the bench, but don't expect him to receive much playing time.


    14. John Jenkins, Shooting Guard

    John Jenkins played in 61 games as a rookie, and the first 10 appearances of his sophomore campaign were practically identical to last season's stats.

    He has tallied 3.3 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.9 assists per outing, but the only difference is the Vanderbilt product averaged 6.1 points per game during 2012-13 compared to the lower mark this season.

    He was swapped with Cunningham and is currently playing in the D-League.


    13. Dennis Schroeder, Point Guard

    Rookie Dennis Schroeder had a decent start to his NBA career, averaging 3.7 points and 2.5 assists in 13.9 minutes per game  in 11 contests.

    Like Jenkins, however, he was sent down to the D-League's Bakersfield Jam, but he may return relatively soon.


    12. Elton Brand, Power Forward

    Just two years removed from being a starter for the entire season with the Philadelphia 76ers, Elton Brand occupies a minimal role for Atlanta.

    He has played in 13 games, providing a rebounding presence for the Hawks. He has grabbed 3.2 boards per appearance, which has lasted 10.8 minutes.


    11. Pero Antic, Center

    Brand and Pero Antic have been similar players, but the rookie has been ever-so-slightly more efficient than his veteran counterpart.

    Antic has averaged scored 3.8 points, grabbed 2.5 rebounds and dished 0.8 assists in 12 games.

10. Gustavo Ayon, Power Forward

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    Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

    Gustavo Ayon missed the Hawks' first eight games due to a shoulder injury, and his effectiveness varied on a nightly basis.

    His best performance came during a 20-point win over the New York Knicks, when he tallied 10 points, five rebounds and two steals.

    Overall, he has averaged 4.3 points and 4.2 rebounds throughout nine appearances, starting two of them.

    Unfortunately for Atlanta, Ayon left the Hawks' most recent contest because of a left leg injury, and the severity is not known at this time.

9. Mike Scott, Power Forward

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    Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

    Mike Scott has noticeably improved offensively during his second NBA season, attacking the rim more often than 2012-13.

    The Virginia product has averaged 6.7 points per game on 44.3 percent shooting, but it hasn't been all positive news.

    Bleacher Report's Adam Fromal noted that "Scott hasn't looked even remotely competent in any one area of the defensive game, and that's problematic."

    Scott must improve on both ends of the floor to retain his nightly playing time, or being a defensive liability will soon relegate him to the bench.

8. Cartier Martin, Small Forward

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    Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

    Atlanta signed Cartier Martin during the offseason, and he is one of four Hawks to have played on a nightly basis so far.

    However, he has been the least efficient every-day player, listing a 10.9 rating on Basketball Reference.

    On his fourth NBA team in six seasons, Martin has averaged 7.6 points and 2.2 rebounds per night, but the sharpshooter has connected on exactly 40.0 percent of his three-point attempts. However, the Hawks have been six points more efficient when he is on the bench, according to

    If he finds his offensive stride and continues to improves his defense, he can earn a larger role in the rotation.

7. Lou Williams, Point Guard

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    Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

    Ninth-year pro Lou Williams tore his ACL in January, but he recently made his return to the court.

    Most importantly, he made an immediate impact.

    Against the Orlando Magic, the veteran guard in his second year with Atlanta found a rhythm, finishing the game with 11 points, eights assists and three rebounds.

    As the season continues, Williams will continue to support budding point guard Jeff Teague in the Hawks backcourt.

6. DeMarre Carroll, Small Forward

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    Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

    DeMarre Carroll is the definition of a journeyman, playing on his fifth team in five seasons. He emerged as a viable backup with the Utah Jazz last year, and the Hawks have given him a starting role during 2013-14.

    A solid defender, he improves Atlanta on that end of the floor, but he struggles on offense.

    Though Carroll has averaged 9.7 points and 6.1 rebounds, the Hawks are three points more efficient when he is on the bench, according to

    His defensive effort will help keep him on the floor, but he must improve his offensive output to solidify his starting job.

5. Shelvin Mack, Point Guard

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    Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

    Expected to be the third-string point guard, Shelvin Mack has been a pleasant surprise, protecting the ball as the backup to Jeff Teague.

    In 268 minutes (20 games) with Atlanta last season, he dished 44 assists and committed 24 turnovers. This year during 247 minutes, however, the Butler product has tallied 46 assists to just nine turnovers.

    Mack has averaged 6.1 points and 3.1 assists per appearance while shooting 44.0 percent from the field.

    With Schroeder mired in a slump that sent him to Bakersfield, Mack has been a vital asset for the Hawks on the bench.

4. Kyle Korver, Shooting Guard

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    Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

    It's not a mystery; Kyle Korver's main responsibility is knocking down outside shots.

    Earlier this week, he made a three-pointer for the 90th consecutive game, setting a new NBA record. The outside-shooting specialist has made an impressive 52.3 percent of his trifecta attempts as well as 53.6 from the field.

    Korver has missed four contests due to a rib injury, but he is currently playing a career-high 33.4 minutes per game despite the setback.

    The 11th-year pro has never been touted for his defense, but Korver's outside shooting can balance his weaker defensive ability.

3. Paul Millsap, Small Forward

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    Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

    Paul Millsap was a high-profile offseason move, but many wondered if he would successfully jell with the Hawks.

    Well, 21 games into the season, the answer is trending toward a yes.

    Atlanta has been 6.3 combined points better while Millsap is on the floor (h/t, which means both the offense and defense have been productive with the 6'8" power forward.

    The versatile Millsap has accounted for 16.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.1 blocks per outing.

2. Jeff Teague, Point Guard

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    Ned Dishman/Getty Images

    Jeff Teague has been the biggest beneficiary of new head coach Mike Budenholzer's pick-and-roll offensive scheme.

    Teague has attacked the basket in the 2013-14 season, and his shooting percentage has improved, especially near the rim compared to the 2012-13 season.

    So far, he has averaged a career-high 16.6 points, 7.9 assists and 2.5 rebounds.

    If he finally cuts down on his three-point attempts—which he cannot consistently make—he will officially enter the discussion of elite point guards.

1. Al Horford, Power Forward

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    Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

    Josh Smith's departure left many wondering if Al Horford could carry the Hawks.

    Well, one-fourth of the way through the season, the power forward has done just that. Horford has averaged 17.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.7 blocks and 1.1 assists per game.

    He has also connected on 54.5 percent of attempts from the field. Additionally, as a team (h/t, Atlanta shoots better with him from every distance range on the court, save for a fractional decrease from the 15- to 19-foot mark.

    Ultimately, Horford is one of the main reasons that the Hawks will remain in postseason contention and near the top of a lackluster Eastern Conference.


    Follow Bleacher Report NBA Writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.