The Atlanta Hawks were ousted in the first round by the top-seeded Indiana Pacers. After a fascinating seven-round battle with the top seed, there have been arguments back and forth on whether it was a successful 2013-2014 campaign for the Atlanta Hawks; some say they had overachieved, some say they underachieved. Over the next couple weeks, we will break down the Hawks season, and starting today, we will dish out grades for each of the Hawks players. Who played well, who was a disappointment, who will be back next year? We will dish out everything you want to hear about the Hawks past season, and what is to come ahead.
First, some quick requirements. We will only feature players that played in at least 10 games with the Hawks this season, so sorry Jeremy Tyler, James Nunnally, and Antawn Jamison; you were all part of the exciting journey in some capacity, but that is all the pub you will get in our season recaps.
We will start with shooting guard, John Jenkins.
In his rookie campaign Jenkins was a semi-regular in Larry Drew’s rotation, playing in 61 of the team’s games and averaging a little over 6 points per game. The main thing that Jenkins brought to the table in his rookie season was his ability to shoot the ball. Jenkins shot 138 three pointers and connected on 53 of them. However, it would be fair to say that Jenkins sophomore season was a letdown.
The Hawks brought in several players that were capable of backing up Jeff Teague and (to a lesser extent) Kyle Korver, and early in the season, Jenkins didn’t see much of the court. Jenkins received several “did not play, coaches decision,” and was inactive in several other games early on in the season.
When Jenkins did see the court, he didn’t play particularly well. Jenkins regressed in every category across the board from his rookie season and although he only was able to attempt 18 three pointers this season, Jenkins only made four of them.
Jenkins would undergo season ending back surgery on February 3rd and missed the remainder of the season.
Points per game: Jenkins averaged just 3.1 points per game in his 13 regular season appearances.
Shining Moment: On November 27th, the Hawks were routed by the Houston Rockets. The 29-point loss allowed Jenkins to play for 33 minutes, by far the most playing time he would receive all year. Jenkins had 13 points including 3-for-6 from beyond the arc. Jenkins also threw in three assists and three rebounds, but turned the ball over four times.
Letter Grade: C- It was possible that Jenkins could thrive in his second season, but it seemed doomed from the outset. Jenkins always seemed to be the odd-man looking in on the rotation, and never seemed to make the most of his garbage time appearances. Then, of course, the injury halted everything. It is unpredictable what Jenkins could have done if he would have stayed healthy when the rest of the Hawks went down with injuries of their own, but we never got to see that come to pass.
2014-2015 season outlook: As we mentioned, Jenkins is coming off a serious injury, and we have no idea what type of player he will be when he returns. Although he is just 23 years of age, back surgeries are serious. It will be extremely important for Jenkins to get on the court in a summer league setting (something he has already said he would be willing to do) in order to see where he is physically. Jenkins is under contract for the 2014-2015 with the Atlanta Hawks for just over 2 million dollars, as a result of the team picking up his third-year option.