The Atlanta Hawks trailed by eight coming into the fourth quarter of their contest against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night, but they weren’t out of it by any stretch. With some solid offense and even more solid defense, the Hawks had the game tied with less than a minute left to play. Ultimately their comeback fell short, though, as two late free throws from Pau Gasol gave L.A. the 105-103 victory.
With the loss on Sunday night, the Hawks now sit at just 1-2 in the early going of the 2013-14 NBA season. They are obviously a newly constructed team that is still trying to get in-sync with one another, but they have also shown positive signs along the way. One of those new pieces to this team, Cartier Martin, has been one of the more pleasantly surprising positive signs that they’ve seen.
Martin wasn’t with the Hawks initially as they went into training camp, but was signed mid-preseason to try and help Atlanta with filling their rotation on the wing. After earning a spot on their final roster, like many expected that he would considering the timing of his signing with the Hawks, there were relatively mellowed expectations for the five-year veteran.
Coming off of the bench for the Hawks so far, Martin has given this team a big offensive lift. Through his first three appearances with Atlanta, the forward has averaged 11.3 points, 1.3 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 23 minutes per game. Moreover, Martin is shooting the lights out of the ball, hitting on nine of his 19 shot attempts for the season and going 8-16 from beyond-the-arc on the year.
It’s clear that Martin’s role on this team is to fill it up from long-range which is what he’s done well thus far. More importantly, though, his sweet-shooting fills a key hole in this Mike Budenholzer offense. The new coach in Atlanta talked often this off-season about looking to be a proficient three-point shooting team, a cause that Martin has aided thus far. It’s still early, but Martin could be one of the best low-level signings for this season if this type of play continues.