Apr 15, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Utah Jazz power forward Paul Millsap (24) rebounds in the second quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. The Jazz won 96-80. Mandatory Credit: Greg Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Old Faces In New Places: Paul Millsap

Old Team: Utah Jazz

New Team: Atlanta Hawks

Role: Starter

Best Case Scenario: Last season, Paul Millsap had his worst, statistically, season ever since becoming a start for the Jazz in 2010. He averaged 14.6 points and 7.1 rebounds last season. For the Atlanta Hawks, he will have to be better. A best case scenario for Millsap and the Hawks would have him averaging close to his career high 17.3 points per game.

Of course, ideally, he would averaged upwards of that. The Hawks are going to need strong efforts from their starting lineups on a daily basis, they don’t have much coming off the bench other than Elton Brand. Millsap will have the chance to have a career year with the Hawks. His best case scenario — as well as the Hawks — would have him doing that. A 20 points and eight rebounds per game season isn’t out of Millsap’s realm for next season.

Worst Case Scenario: I hate to say injury on anybody, but in this case, Millsap’s worst case scenario would be any injury that requires him to miss any significant time — for multiple reasons. First, because, like I just said, the Hawks don’t have much on the bench going for them. An injury to Millsap would force Brand into the starting lineup, creating their bench to be even weaker. Secondly, Millsap has never missed more than 18 games in a season. Playing 60-plus games for seven seasons in a row is really, really good. Millsap needs to make that an eighth straight in order to avoid a worst case scenario.

What Will Really Happen: Millsap seems to be pretty durable, so I’ll assume that he’ll play, at least, 70 games this season. That should bode well for the Hawks’ playoff chances. I believe that Millsap will be a big reason why the Hawks make those playoffs, too. He will average somewhere between 16 and 20 points per game and grab just about seven rebounds per game (numbers might not be as big as can be because of Al Horford).

A Horford/Millsap combintaion will be really good. It could get Horford back to a potential all-star status by the middle of next season. Millsap’s teammates will feel his impact more than he will feel theirs (did that make sense).

Tags: Atlanta Hawks NBA NBA Offseason Paul Millsap

comments powered by Disqus