What Quin Snyder does for the Hawks

After a disappointing start to a season, the favorite remedy for NBA teams is to fire the head coach. It says to the fans, “yes, we know, we also don’t like what’s happening here and we are doing something about it”. It can often be seen as a purely symbolic move but Quin Snyder is a really good coach. 

At their worst, the Hawks are a directionless, poorly spaced, confused offense that relies heavily on Trae Young’s talent. Dejounte Murray has been reduced to a glorified role player in his first year as a Hawk. John Collins, who on paper is the perfect Trae Young team-mate, has been forced to the perimeter where he is shooting the worst 3-point percentage of his career. They are incredibly inconsistent, they reportedly don’t like each other, and they are a mess that can’t be saved, but again, Quin Snyder is a really good coach. 

Outside of looking like Tim Burton designed a head coach, Snyder has affectionately been known as a ‘mad scientist of basketball’. Anyone who was around for the 2019 Jazz knows how his mind works – run as much as possible and everyone touches the ball. Before his first Hawks game, he got a standing ovation from the Atlanta crowd.  

There are less than twenty games left in the season and the Hawks are projected for the play-in yet again. This season is a disappointment that should be written off. However, Snyder signed a five-year deal, so he can use this season to build relationships and survey what he’s working with. One thing that is certain is that Quin Snyder knows how to coach shooters and passers, two things that Trae Young is undeniably fantastic at. As well as this, the Hawks brought in shooter, Saddiq Bey, who will prove his value once he finds his role in the team. I’d like to see them seek out better shooters in the future, maybe give Garrison Mathews some run. Pieces like Bogdonavic, Hunter, and A.J. Griffin all seem like quintessential Snyder (pun intended) players. They will have no trouble succeeding under his watch. 

I can see it now. Motion on offense, a million screens, Collins is flying around. As a team, they are built to play in space and up-tempo, they just need Quin’s guidance to be more creative in order to find better shots. I think that we may see Trae playing off the ball a bit more, this also gives Murray room to be the all-star he is. Capela is comparable to Rudy Gobert; Snyder was somehow able to extract some offensive production from him. So I imagine he’ll have the same plan for Capela: roll to the basket on every possession. 

It’s clear that the Hawks need help. They needed a change and Quin Snyder was definitely the best option. His acquisition adds new life and hope for this Trae Young era. This team is currently abundant with flaws but certainly has promise. With a few tweaks here and there, they have the ceiling of the 2019 Jazz. Hopefully, it ends better. 

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Journalism student at the University of Canberra. Covering the WNBL, NBA, and basketball social issues. Follow Leon on twitter at @LeonStoljBlog and read his work at stoljblog.com!