I doubt many fans buy NBA League Pass to watch the Atlanta Hawks games, but they are sneaky good. They won’t ‘wow’ you with flash, but if you like three-point shooting, you loved watching them last season.
Jeff Teague impressed many NBA fans with his play against the Indiana Pacers in the playoffs. He held his own against players with much more playoff experience. I look for him to keep improving and possibly be in play for a spot on the All-Star Game roster.
The major key to Atlanta’s success is Al Horford’s ability to stay healthy. He’s had two torn pectoral muscles derail back-to-back seasons. If he stays healthy, it’s hard to omit Atlanta from the playoff picture.
We will be posting a team preview for every team up until the start of the regular season.
Here is the 2014-15 NBA season preview for the Atlanta Hawks.
2013-14 Win/Loss Record: 38-44
Key Additions: PF Adreian Payne, SG Kent Bazemore, SF Thabo Sefolosha, C Dexter Pittman & SG Jarell Eddie
Key Losses: SG Louis Williams, PF Cartier Martin & PF Gustavo Ayon
Projected Starters: Al Horford, Paul Milsap, DeMarre Carroll, Kyle Korver & Jeff Teague
Fantasy Sleeper: SG Kent Bazemore – Bazemore finally made his way onto the court last season. He’s best known for his crazy towel waving celebrations, but once he made his way to the Lakers, he played a ton of minutes. They were a horrible team, but we got to see what Bazemore could do on offense. He’s currently the backup shooting guard behind Kyle Korver. Yes, DeMarre Carroll can play two-guard as well, but Bazemore could see the kind of minutes Lou Williams saw last year. He’s a deep sleeper, so keep an eye on him late in your draft.
Team Analysis: After Al Horford went down with ‘another’ torn pectoral muscle, you thought Atlanta would pack it up. Well, a funny thing happened, they became one of the
best most-active three-point shooting teams. They just kept heaving balls from deep. It helps when you have Kyle Korver on your team. This method helped force a Game 7 against Indiana in the first-round of the playoffs.
Danny Ferry and soon-to-be former owner of the Hawks had an embarrassing offseason…but they did do a few things right. They signed veteran defensive wing-stopper Thabo Sefolosha. That will pay off greatly in the postseason…in which I am predicting the Hawks will end up at the end of the season.
Atlanta might not be a ‘sexy’ team and I wouldn’t call their games, ‘must-see television’, but they will do just enough to win around half their games. In the poor Eastern Conference, that is good enough for a 6th or 7th seed.
2014-15 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 41.5 (Prediction: UNDER)
2014-15 Projected Win/Loss Record: 41-41 (7th in Eastern Conference)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.