Hawks take advantage of two practice days to acclimate to coach Quin Snyder

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

It has been a whirlwind of a week for Hawks coach Quin Snyder, but he hasn’t been timid about stepping into the new role.

Over the past three days, Snyder has begun to lay the foundation for what the future of the Hawks’ culture and program will be. Before his coaching debut with the Hawks on Tuesday, he did not hesitate to get into the details of what he would like this young team to pay attention to.

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Though the Hawks lost Tuesday’s game against the Wizards, Snyder got a full picture of what he has to work with. So, in the team’s two practices ahead of its matchup against the Trail Blazers, Snyder said they would look to create a specific mentality.

“I feel like coach Snyder’s already, off of the Wizards (game), started to tweak some things, change some things up,” third-year center Onyeka Okongwu said. “He’s still trying to get to know us a little bit; he’s only been here, like, three days. So, it’s still fairly new to him. So he’s trying to stay within that time and just try to help us as best as possible.”

The team focused on offense Wednesday and turned its attention to defense Thursday.

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“I think one of the things that we talked about is creating a mentality,” Snyder said at practice Wednesday. “Not that you’re passing for the sake of passing, but you’re moving the ball to create an advantage. When we attack, we want to attack collectively. And sometimes, that’s something people got to feel. The tape usually helps with that. And then we got on the floor and tried to do some of those things, little details, the accuracy of our passes, spacing, all those things, and we’ll have a big defensive day (Thursday).”

Hawks players have spoken of Snyder’s attention to detail. Ahead of the game against the Wizards, Hawks guard Dejounte Murray said the team responded to Snyder well. Now, though, the team needed to go out there and translate it to the court.

With two days of working with his new team, Snyder will have a chance to see how the Hawks put the details they’ve talked about into action. The last time the Hawks faced the Trail Blazers, they gave up 19 3-pointers and allowed seven-time All-Star Damian Lillard to put up 42 points.

Like many have said throughout the season, Snyder knows the team has to improve on defense.

“We have to be solid, and I think that that base is what allows you to get better,” Snyder said Wednesday. “It’s hard to get better at a lot of things at once. So on the defensive end, you know whether it’s pick and roll, a lot of it for us is little things just being shifted.”