The Atlanta Hawks have been on a rollercoaster ride all season long. To clarify, it means up and down. Inconsistent. Anything along those lines.
As of March 24, the Hawks are 37-34, ranking in fifth place of the Eastern Conference. They are in the midst of a five-game losing streak. A few more slips, and they could fall as low as seventh place, where the Indiana Pacers are just one game behind them.
One can say the Hawks have been fairly average because of inconsistent play from players like Dwight Howard and Kent Bazemore. Tim Hardaway Jr. (14.1 ppg) is having a career season.
The Hawks’ go-to players, Paul Millsap and Dennis Schroder have played fairly well. Millsap made his fourth straight all-star game. The 32-year-old is averaging 18.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 3.8 assists. Millsap has missed the last three games with a sore knee, and it’s the reason Atlanta has struggled as of late.
Dennis Schroder has done everything he could to keep Atlanta afloat. The 23-year-old is averaging 17.7 points and 6.2 assists. This is his first year as a starter and we have yet to see the best of him.
Last season Schroder made his mark as a top backup guard in the league. Schroder averaged 11 points and 4.4 assists. In the Eastern Conference Semifinals against Cleveland he was huge in game one (27 points) and game four (21 points). His play made it easier to let go of Jeff Teague, who was traded to the Indiana Pacers.
Over the last few weeks, Schroder has had some great and not so great moments. On March 6 in a loss against Golden State, he had 23 points — 19 coming in the first. With eight minutes to play in the third quarter he was benched for the remainder of the contest after arguing with Howard. This was the Hawks season in a nutshell.
On Wednesday night against Washington, Schroder had 18 points but a career-high 10 turnovers. Schroder has learned to bounce back from his worst moments. An example of this is when he had eight points (2-14 FG) against Portland on March 18. Two days later in their next game against Charlotte he had 20 points (8-17 FG) and six assists.
The best of Schroder will come playoff time. The only question is whether his running mates will be ready to help him and Millsap?