The Atlanta Hawks fired Nate McMillan on February 21 after going 29-30 this season and 99-80 since taking over in 2020-21. Replacing McMillan will be Quin Snyder, who agreed to a five-year deal that included this season. On Tuesday, he is expected to be on the sideline when the Hawks face the Wizards.
Snyder coached the Utah Jazz for eight seasons, posting winning seasons in each of the last six. He led the Jazz to the best record in the NBA in 2020-21 and was a finalist for NBA Coach of the Year in 2018 and 2021.
The one knock on Snyder is that he couldn’t get the Jazz over the hump, coming up shot of the big game each season. Utah was eliminated in the playoffs by the Dallas Mavericks last season, in the second round by the Los Angeles Clippers two seasons ago, and failed to hold a 3-1 lead against Denver in the first round of 2020.
Despite regular season success, the failure in the playoffs led to the team’s downfall, as Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell were traded. Snyder resigned following last season and took over an Atlanta team at 31-30, eighth in the Eastern Conference.
Numerous challenges await Snyder in Atlanta, including injuries to De’Andre Hunter, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Clint Capela. The biggest hurdle could be dealing with point guard Trae Young, a great offensive player with the ball and an excellent long-range shooter. However, he’s a massive liability on the defensive end and, frankly, not a good off-ball scorer. There is no secret that Young and McMillan had differences of opinion, one of which led to Young not showing up for a game earlier this year against the Nuggets.
Snyder has plenty of experience and will need to draw on that and then some to help turn the Hawks back into contenders.
While we’ve been discussing Quin Snyder, in other basketball news, Jayson Tatum led Team Giannis to win the NBA All-Star game.