Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Hawks’ new GM field makes better defense top priority

ATLANTA ( Associated Press) — The Atlanta Hawks are pushing for defensive improvement as they consider off-season changes.

Changes have already taken place at the front office, with Landry Fields being promoted to general manager.

Field on Monday consistently emphasized defense as an off-season priority for a team taking a big step back After advancing to the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals.

Fields said a defensive identity should be established for the Hawks to score another run on the title after a first-round finish. by Miami.

“The identity has been defensively, well that’s something we’re going to do,” Landry said. “That is the reason why we did not take that step. We have to take a harsh approach to our defensive capabilities every day. … that piece of identity is about to come when we watch it continuously. ,

The Hawks finished only 21st in the league in defense scoring, earning 112.3 points per game. This was a major factor before making it to the play-in tournament and then earning the No. 8 seed in the playoffs.

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Fields has been Assistant GM. Their promotion becomes official on 1 July and has not been announced by the team. Still, he discussed his new role on Monday and said team chairman Travis Schlenk “is still a decision-maker.”

Led by All-Star point guard Trey Young, the Hawks finished sixth in the scoring. The disappointing season showed the Hawks needed a better defense and perhaps a more established supplemental scorer behind Young.

Atlanta has a No. 16 total in Thursday’s NBA Draft, but could trade that pick for a seasoned player.

“It’s always a fine line and you have those discussions for sure,” Fields said.

Fields, 33, had a five-year career as a player with the New York Knicks and Toronto before quickly rising off the court. He took up a scouting position with San Antonio in 2016 and joined the Hawks as an assistant GM in 2020.

This disappointing end to the season has forced the Hawks to consider changes.

“It just seems natural to see where we wanted to go this season and where we ended up,” Fields said.

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Young may be the only player who is off-limits to business discussions. The team’s youth corps also includes power forward John Collins, small forward D’Andre Hunter, center Clint Capella and shooting guard Kevin Huerter.

After the playoff loss to Miami, Hawks principal owner Tony Resler said the team was very satisfied. last off season. He said that the team will not make such a mistake.

“I think we should have tried to get better rather than bring back what we had,” Ressler said last month, before adding “Well that won’t happen again. In my opinion, it was a mistake.” “

Wrestler’s comments have fueled speculation that the Hawks are open to a trade.

Fields said the Hawks have had “calls from teams about any and every player. We’ll take that and see if there’s anything that makes sense.”


More Associated Press NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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