The Atlanta Hawks just completed the best undefeated record in a calendar month in NBA history going 17-0. The Atlanta Hawks are currently on a 19-game winning streak and are beating teams every night without one bonafide NBA star, never mind having two or three superstars. In a league where the term “Big Three” has produced championships the past few years for the Boston Celtics with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen, and the Miami Heat with Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh, the Atlanta Hawks appear to be re-writing the formula of how to win in the NBA.
Head Coach of the Atlanta Hawks, Mike Budenholzer, is a product of the San Antonio Spurs and Gregg Popovich where he served as an assistant coach under Popovich for 18 years. During that time, Budenholzer learned a lot about team basketball and how effective it can be.
The Atlanta Hawks are winning due to a variety of different reasons, but their success has to be attributed to their passing game. The Atlanta Hawks are playing the most unselfish brand of basketball in the NBA and are sharing the ball at a historic rate. The Atlanta Hawks are assisting on 70% of their made field goals. Have you ever heard your coach say, “Don’t let the ball stick?” That is the philosophy that the Atlanta Hawks are living by at the moment, and it is producing great results for them. The Atlanta Hawks and their players do not waste their time making unnecessary dribbling moves for show. They play with a purpose, and they pass with a purpose, and it is proving that defenses, not matter how good they are, can not stop an offense which is unselfish and shares the ball as effectively, and as fast as the Hawks.
Arguably, the 2015 Atlanta Hawks are the best team in the history of their franchise, and they have their best ever opportunity of winning the NBA Championship. They have a 19-game winning streak and it will be interesting to see how far they can take it, and if they can maintain their spot as the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference. The NBA has rewarded the Atlanta Hawks for their team play and have selected three all-stars from their roster, Al Horford, Jeff Teague, and Paul Milsap.
The Atlanta Hawks have been a mediocre team in the NBA for a number of years and have been criticized as having management and fans who were not committed to winning. However, the Atlanta Hawks have re-energized their fan base and have everyone believing that they are serious contenders to win the championship this year, and it is all because of their style of playing team basketball.
Contributing writer Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops is the author of a number of poetry and fiction books for young people. Jasen has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and is a life-long participant and fan of the game of basketball.