2014-15 NBA Preview: The Atlanta Hawks


Sep 30, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks power forward Al Horford (15) and power forward Paul Millsap (4) pose with head coach Mike Budenholzer (center) during media day at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Continuing our NBA Preview series, we take a closer at the Atlanta Hawks

More from Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta Hawks 2013-14 record: 38-44

Atlanta Hawks 2013-14 MVP: Paul Millsap (17.9 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists)

Three Things I Think I Know About The Atlanta Hawks…

  1.  Atlanta seems to be perpetually under-the-radar but could be a dangerous contender in the East
  2. Millsap is playing on a contract year and his next deal could be his last chance to cash in
  3. Kyle Korver won’t be as effective this year as he was last season

Atlanta Hawks Key Additions:

Atlanta Hawks Key Losses:

The Atlanta Hawks will be a playoff team if…

…things play out as expected, injuries are limited and off-court distractions are minimized. This is a very good team, part of a deep Southeast Division that has other playoff hopefuls: Miami, Washington and Charlotte. But there are concerns that could rock this team. The allegations against the team’s front office and a potential sale of the team could weaken what would have been a chance to build a stronger fanbase. Al Horford is coming back from an injured pectoral muscle and there are concerns that it could happen again. But, if this team handles their business another second-year coach Mike Budenholzer, then this is a Hawks team prepped for a deep run in the postseason.

Team Strengths:

Depth, particularly in the frontcourt. Horford, Milsap, Pero Antic and Payne are all big man that can space the floor and rebound. Against teams that are thin in the middle (say, Cleveland and Miami), they could be very effective.

Team Weaknesses:

There is a culture of unmet expectations that hangs over this team like a dark cloud. A promising offseason was destroyed by news of racism and dysfunction in the front office. Potential playoff run last season sent off course by Horford’s injury. And so on and so on. Can the Hawks turn this around and win back a fractured community at the same time? Winning is said to cure all and this season will be the opportunity to prove that.

 The 2014-15 Atlanta Hawks MVP will be…

…Paul Milsap. The return of Horford, continued development of Antic and addition of Payne all mean less touches for Korver, a sensational shooter who moves well without the ball. In the meantime, Milsap is versatile enough to create his own shot or launch it from deep and he’s playing for a contract. While not inherently a selfish player, he’ll be aggressive looking for his shot and will wind up being the team’s production leader.

Season Defining Question:

Can the Hawks stand out above the Eastern Conference?

Atlanta Hawks Best Case Scenario:


Atlanta Hawks Worst Case Scenario: