Recently, the Atlanta Hawks lost to the Washington Wizards in the first round of the NBA Playoffs to end their season. Now that the Hawks season is over, awards can be given out to break down the year.
MVP: Paul Millsap
Paul Millsap was a big factor for the Hawks this season. He averaged 18.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game, but injuries did hold him back, only playing 69 games this season. Millsap was such a big impact to his team that his team went 3-9 without him on the court.
Most Improved: Tim Hardaway Jr.
Tim Hardaway Jr. has really improved and was a really good player for the Hawks this season. Hardaway Jr. has had the best season of his NBA career, averaging 14.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. This year, his stats were better than all previous years. If he learns to take better shots he could become a much better player.
Biggest Disappointment: Mike Muscala
Coming into this season, the Hawks had weak center depth outside of Dwight Howard. Therefore, Muscala was expected to have a big season but, that did not happen as he only averaged 6.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game. These stats were not great for a player that needed to have an impressive season for his team.
Best Newcomer: Dwight Howard
This past summer, Dwight Howard decided to sign with his hometown Hawks. Howard averaged 13.5 points, 12.7 rebounds, and 1.4 assists. The 31-year-old veteran was a big player for Atlanta by grabbing lots of rebounds and standing as big defensive force in the paint. Although he wasn’t the best scorer and could have had a greater impact if Coach Mike Budenholzer would have played him more in the 4th quarter, Howard remained as a consistent force for the Hawks.
MVP: Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard was easily a star of this team this season. The Atlanta native averaged 13.5 points, 12.7 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game. Not only were his stats great, but he was a great player for the team in the paint a brought a new presence for the team on court and off the court. However, Millsap had a better season for the team, earning him a well-deserved team MVP.
Most Improved: Dennis Schroder
Dennis Schroder really improved over the past NBA season as he averaged 17.9 points, 6.3 assists, and 3.1 rebounds per game. Schroder became a starter this past year after the departure of Jeff Teague to the Indiana Pacers and served as a good player for the Hawks, but there is still lots of room for improvement.
Biggest Disappointment: Mike Dunleavy
During the current season, the Hawks acquired Mike Dunleavy from the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Kyle Korver trade. Dunleavy was not a great performer, only averaging 5.2 points, 0.9 assists and 2.2 rebounds per game. He was not a big impact like Korver was which was a big disappointment for the Hawks because there were few players on the team who could shoot like Korver after the deal was completed.
Best Newcomer: Ersan Ilyasova
Ersan Ilyasova was a great new addition for the Hawks, averaging 13.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. He added a hard work ethic and a defensive presence for the team. Because he is playing behind Millsap, he started very few games, but was a huge player off the bench for the Hawks.