The Atlanta Hawks ended the 2023 NBA season in disappointing fashion, losing to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The team made some changes in the offseason, but the core is still intact.
One of the biggest concerns for the Hawks is their defense. The team has struggled to contain opponents in recent years, which could be a major obstacle to winning the title in 2024.
In the preseason, the Eagles have had some of the same defensive issues that plagued them last season. In a recent game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Trae Young and Dejounte Murray had trouble finding passing lanes inside. They either dribbled to buy time for their teammates to rotate without the ball, rushed passes that would be intercepted, or rushed shots without giving the other Eagles players the touches needed for a complete game.
This type of play leads to turnovers and puts opposing teams out of the game on offensive and defensive possessions. The Eagles committed 24 turnovers against the 76ers, which is not a recipe for success.
The Hawks also struggled to defend the block against the 76ers. Joel Embiid was able to get good position down low while the Hawks’ outside defenders struggled to stay in front of their assignments.
The Hawks need to improve their defense if they want to win a championship in 2024. They need to find a way to contain opposing teams’ blocking and keep them out of the box. They also need to improve ball security and avoid careless turnovers.