Atlanta Hawks Blog

A blog about Atlanta’s NBA franchise, from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Hawks rookie Dorsey on the rise

Hawks rookie Tyler Dorsey had a bad game in the loss at Milwaukee last night. Dorsey was a team-worst minus-11 in 13 minutes played. He was on the floor for six minutes during Milwaukee’s third-quarter surge while posting zeros across his stat line. 

But such duds have become rare for Dorsey, who turns 22 years old on Sunday. Over the past two weeks, Dorsey has nearly doubled the number of significant minutes he’s played this season and the results have been encouraging for the Hawks. 

Over that eight-game stretch Dorsey has played 163 minutes while scoring 13.2 points per 36 minutes. During those games he posted a 55.3 true shooting percentage with a 17.2 usage rate. Dorsey produced consistently in assists (17.2 assist rate) and rebounds (15.1) over that span and committed just three turnovers. Even after posting the minus-11 against the Bucks, Dorsey is plus-13 over his last eight games. 

Dorsey’s positive impact goes back further. In the 16 games (285 minutes) since becoming a rotation regular following the West trip, Dorsey’s -0.5 net rating is third-best among Hawks regulars behind Isaiah Taylor (15.0) and Dewayne Dedmon (-0.4). Dorsey’s 57.3 true shooting percentage in those games was third-best behind Taylor (60.2) and Mike Muscala (58.3) and his rebounding percentage (52.0) was best among Hawks wing players. 

Dorsey is on the come after failing to earn significant playing time early in the season and spending most of his time in the G-League. Dorsey is shooting better, which isn’t a surprise considering his college profile. But Dorsey also is playing better defense and providing unexpected rebounding production. 

With Marco Belinelli gone, there is no NBA veteran on the Hawks’ bench to play the wing, leaving Dorsey to seek minutes alongside Delaney and DeAndre’ Bembry. Dorsey, unlike Bembry, doesn’t have the length to guard bigger wings and Delaney is the much better playmaker. 

But if Dorsey can continue to develop over the final 24 games and through the summer, he could be in line for a regular spot in the rotation to begin next season.

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About the Author

Michael Cunningham has covered the Hawks and other beats for the AJC since 2010.