By Johnny Askounis/ email@example.com
The Atlanta Hawks clinched a playoff berth on Wednesday. Bogdan Bogdanovic is among the players set to debut in the NBA postseason.
The Serbian swingman, a Turkish Airlines EuroLeague playoffs regular during his time at Fenerbahce, missed the playoffs in his first three NBA campaigns. However, the move to Atlanta and the Hawks moving back into the postseason picture granted him entrance.
Bogdanovic, 28, has been productive so far this season averaging career-highs 16.0 points and 3.7 rebounds per contest. His showings also generate 3.3 assists, 1.0 steals, and 0.3 blocks per game.
The sharpshooter joined the Hawks prior to the 2020-21 season after three campaigns with the Sacramento Kings. His previous side came close but missed the playoffs cut the past two seasons. He helped get the job done this time around.
Before deciding to jump to the NBA, Bogdanovic had three successful EuroLeague playoffs runs with Fenerbahce landing a Final Four spot in 2015, 2016, and 2017, the third berth generating the lone EuroLeague championship in team history.
The NBA playoffs being a totally different story can’t detract from the fact that Bogdanovic has been extremely successful in these situations. He had 8.0 points per game in the series against Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2015 and went on to 16.7 points versus Real Madrid in 2016 and 19.3 points opposite to Panathinaikos in 2017. The Turkish powerhouse swept its opponents in all three best-of-five series.
It has been four years since his last playoffs appearance, but he is finally back. “Ready for that war. Ready for that war, ready,” he wrote on Twitter making his intentions clear after the clinching win against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.
Atlanta can finish anywhere between fourth and sixth in the Eastern Conference, meaning its first-round opponent is yet to be determined. The remaining regular-season fixtures are at home versus the Orlando Magic and the Houston Rockets further down this week.
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