After the Atlanta Hawks’ dream season, they endured a rude awakening. They almost missed the playoffs and fought their way in through the play-in tournament only to get beaten in five games by the Miami Heat. Despite another fantastic season from Trae Young, it was over much quicker than last season.
Atlanta came well short of expectations after making the Eastern Conference Finals last season. The franchise is admitting to it. According to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic, team owner Tony Ressler said that he underperformed along with general manager Travis Schlenk and head coach Nate McMillan.
“I have enormous confidence in both Travis and Nate. I think I, as owner, Travis, the president of basketball operations, Nate, as head coach, all underperformed this year. I think if you asked any one of us — hopefully all of us — we would all agree that we all underperformed. We all thought we would be better, and we intend to be better. But if the question is do I have great confidence in their ability, the answer is yes.”
The Hawks have a lot of work to do with their roster but they are determined to compete for championships. Russler said that he is willing to spend money and that the luxury tax doesn’t worry him. This is just what you would want to hear from an owner but the results have to follow through now.
Young said that the Hawks will take a step forward next season. Building around his talents shouldn’t be too difficult. It’ll be time for Russler, Schlenk and McMillan to make up for last season.