The Atlanta Hawks are going to miss Bogdan Bogdanovic

Bogdan Bogdanovic of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Bogdan Bogdanovic of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Hawks were already down multiple players to injury, and now they will miss Bogdan Bogdanovic for several weeks. What will the Hawks do?

The Atlanta Hawks came in with a different looking team to start the season. With the most cap space in the league, and expectations to be competitive after failing to do so in previous seasons, it was time for the front office to make plays.

They didn’t waste any time and started signing players immediately. The biggest move was signing Bogdan Bogdanovic to an offer sheet to get him away from the Sacramento Kings.

Bogdanovic was one of the best free agents on the market, but his being restricted made it much harder because the Kings could match any offer sent to him. Luckily for the Hawks, it seemed from the beginning that the Kings were ready to move on from him after the failed trade with the Milwaukee Bucks.

It was evident what the Hawks would be getting from Bogdanovic once he arrived. A secondary ball-handler for Trae Young, and a player that can score on all three levels of the court, both things the Hawks did not have much of last season.

Related Story. Players Power Rankings: Steph Curry is back. light

Through the first few games of the season, Bogdanovic was doing everything he was expected to, and then the Atlanta sports voodoo kicked in.

He went down with a fractured right knee against the Charlotte Hornets and is said to be out for several weeks. He could be out four-to-six weeks and maybe longer.

Nonetheless, the Atlanta Hawks were already missing half of their roster with injuries, and it feels like Bogdanovic going down was the icing on the cake. There were many things that he did on the court in such a short time that the Hawks will miss in the next several weeks.

In Sacramento, Bogdanovic was good at creating his own shot. Through his first few games with the Hawks, he hasn’t had to do that as much, which is a good thing.

Bogdan Bogdanovich was flourishing in his early play for the Atlanta Hawks

With the addition of Rajon Rondo, and the elevation of Kevin Huerter and Brandon Goodwin being able to run the offense while Young is on the bench, Bogdanovic has become a catch-and-shoot player, and he’s doing a good job at it.

In the Hawks’ first matchup against the Brooklyn Nets, he gave us a glimpse of what he can do when he’s just standing still.

In this clip, Rondo and Huerter are setting up a play. After both players attach to Huerter, he passes it back out to Rondo, who then gives it to Bogdanovic. Landry Shamet closes out, but Bogdanovic still insists on shooting the shot, and he makes it. There’s really nothing more Shamet could have done on that play, but his shot-making ability allows him to take that shot.

You can say there’s not another *healthy* player on the Hawks roster that can make that kind of shot, which makes Bogdanovic so special when he’s on the floor.

Later in the game, the Hawks are in transition. Rondo looks at Huerter which makes Taurean Prince slide over to him, but instead, he hits Bogdanovic for a pull-up three. Prince and Shamet are both able to get to him, but at this point, it’s too late; he was on fire.

Not only can Bogdanovic shoot the ball, but he can put the ball on the floor as well. During his time in Sacramento, he was exceptional at getting to the rim and finishing. It’s something that players may not expect from him as much, and he’s able to take advantage of it.

In this clip, the Atlanta Hawks are once again pushing the ball in transition. Rondo finds Bogdanovic trailing, and the typical thing he would’ve done in this situation is to shoot the three. Instead, he slows down as if he’s about to shoot, which freezes Delon Wright. He then drives into the heart of the paint to hit a floater over Mason Plumlee.

It’s simple: when you can shoot well, the fake is always bound to work.

Against the Cavaliers, Bogdanovic was able to show his ability to handle the ball and create a shot for himself. Once he gets JaVale McGee switched on to him, the quick hesitation on the top of the three-point line stuns the defender.  He makes a few dribble moves and steps back as if he’s going to take the shot, which makes McGee jump. Bogdanovic then leans in and hits the floater.

An underrated part of Bogdanovic’s game the Hawks will miss is his vision and ability to pass the ball. Of course, when you can shoot the ball well you’ll attract an extra defender which makes it easier to find the open man, but that’s something the Hawks desperately needed.

In the past two seasons, the only player that would attract an extra defender on the team is Young, but his teammates weren’t hitting their shots when they were open.

Now Bogdanovic is the one needing extra attention leaving Young open, which is a rare sighting.

Bogdanovic grabs the rebound off the miss and pushes the ball down the floor in transition. He gets into the heart of the defense and finds Young wide open in the corner. That is one statement you don’t want to hear all the time.

Now that Bogdanovic is out, that attention will probably be put back on Young in that situation unless the other players on the team step up. The Hawks’ young wings have taken a big jump from last season, and they’ll have to stay consistent with all the injuries on the roster.

It was only a small sample size, but things changed for the Atlanta Hawks when Bogdanovic was on the floor, whether he was making or missing shots.

If they can get him back sooner than later, it will help this team tremendously.

Next. NBA Power Rankings Week 3: Are the Warriors back?. dark