Bradford Doolittle was at Hawks-Bulls and writes a thoughtful piece at Basketball Prospectus about his observations of the Hawks’ (so far) improved defense (ranked third in efficiency before tonight’s games). It’s worth a read.
In the post, Doolittle says the Hawks made “no major personnel additions to explain the defensive improvement.” But I think they have and it (possibly) does.
(All of the following comes with the necessary Small Sample Size Qualifier.)
The Hawks have more defensive talent and depth than last season (and probably more versatility, too). It’s now more Jeff Teague (not new, but new to getting most of the point guard minutes) and Jannero Pargo, no Mike Bibby and Jamal Crawford. It’s more Tracy McGrady (size, rebounds) and Vladimir Radmonovic (steals, blocks), no Mo Evans and Damien Wilkins. It’s (eventually, I’m assuming) more Zaza Pachulia, no Josh Powell.
Look at Atlanta’s on-court, off-court numbers at basketballvalue.com. Notice that all of the bench
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