The NBA season is almost upon us. The Hawks’ first regular season game is next Tuesday at home versus the Detroit Pistons. Last season, Atlanta had one of the most balanced scoring attacks in the NBA. Let’s take a look:
2014-15 Atlanta Hawks Player Stats
Paul Millsap: 16.7 ppg, 7.8 rpg and 3.1 apg
Jeff Teague: 15.9ppg, 7.0 apg and 2.5 rpg
Al Horford: 15.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg and 3.2 apg
Demarre Carroll: 12.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg and 1.7 apg
Kyle Korver: 12.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg and 2.6 apg
Dennis Schroder: 10.0 ppg, 4.1 apg and 2.1 rpg
Mike Scott: 7.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg and 0.8 apg
Pero Antic: 5.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg and 0.8 apg
John Jenkins: 5.6 ppg, 1.6 rpg and 0.5 apg
Shelvin Mack: 5.4 ppg, 2.8 apg and 1.4 rpg
Thabo Sefolosha: 5.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg and 1.4 apg
Kent Bazemore: 5.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg and 1.0 apg
Mike Muscala: 4.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg and 0.6 apg
Elton Brand: 2.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg and 0.6 apg
Four of those players: Demarre Carroll, Pero Antic, John Jenkins and Elton Brand are no longer with the Hawks. Their roster spots will be filled up by the likes of Tim Hardaway Jr., Tiago Splitter, Justin Holliday and whoever claims the final roster spot, whom I believe will be Lamar Patterson.
Incoming Players’ 2014-15 Stats
Tim Hardaway Jr. (NYK): 11.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg and 1.8 apg
Tiago Splitter (SA): 8.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg and 0.7 apg
Justin Holliday (GSW): 4.3 ppg, 1.2 rpg and 0.8 apg
Lamar Patterson (Tofas/Turkey): 11.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg and 2.2 apg
Coach Budenholzer and the Atlanta Hawks will look to continue to play the same way that they did last year in their historic season. Ball movement and unselfishness is the name of the game, and these incoming players will learn to be much more efficient basketball players. Here’s a look at how I project the 2015-2016 season stats will look.
Teague has improved and become more efficient each year he has been in the league. In last year’s playoffs, he had his moments of greatness, particularly in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals in which he nearly carried an injury depleted Hawks team to a road victory over the Cavs. He made the All-Star game for the first time last season and I expect him to do the same this season. He will be the leading scorer for Atlanta in 2015-2016
2015-2016 Stat Projections: 16.9 ppg, 7.4 apg and 2.6 rpg
Millsap has made the All-Star game in both of his seasons with the Hawks. He has been the model of consistency for Atlanta and has become one of the best all-around power forwards in the league. The improvement in his three-point shot has made all of the difference, as he has taken his game to the next level.
2015-2016 Stat Projections: 16.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg and 3.4 apg
Horford has been the cornerstone of this Atlanta franchise for years and is entering the final year of his contract. This will be his second year removed from his second torn pectoral injury that cost him most of the 2013-2014 season. Horford had another All-Star year last season, but he will be even better this season.
2015-2016 Stat Projections: 16.2 ppg, 8.1 rpg and 3.5 apg
Tim Hardaway Jr.
Hardaway Jr. is the most intriguing addition to the Hawks roster this season. Atlanta gave up their first round pick in this year’s NBA draft to acquire him, and Coach Mike Budenholzer seems to think he is the perfect fit for this team. He has the ability to be an electric scorer, but most importantly Hardaway can nail the three-point bomb. He has had trouble with efficiency in New York, but the transition from one of the most inefficient offenses in the league to one of the most fluid offenses in the league should allow him to be a much better player.
2015-2016 Stat Projections: 13.1 ppg, 2.5 apg and 2.0 rpg
With all the great stories that happened with this team last year, Schroder might have been the best one. After struggling in his rookie season and spending time in the D-League, the German sensation became one of the most electric players in the league off the bench. He is extremely quick and made huge strides in his jump shot. He will continue to improve and could be a dark horse candidate for the Sixth Man of the Year award.
2015-2016 Stat Projections: 11.2 ppg, 4.8 apg and 2.0 rpg
Korver is coming off the best season of his career, as he made his first career All-Star game. However, Korver is also coming off a gruesome ankle injury that he suffered in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals. He will still be a great threat from behind the arc, but look for his numbers to come down a little due to the fact that he is aging and coming off of injury.
2015-2016 Stat Projections: 10.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg and 2.5 apg
Splitter is the other major addition to this year’s Hawks squad. Splitter’s presence is going to be felt the most on the defensive end and on the glass, but he is an underrated offensive player that is coming into a familiar system. Look for him to play a much bigger role on this Atlanta team that desperately needed help on the boards.
2015-2016 Stat Projections: 9.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg and 1.3 apg
It is not clear how the minutes will be allocated on the wing since Demarre Carroll went to Toronto in free agency. Sefolosha looks to assume a good amount of those, as he was a key player in the Hawks’ second unit when he was healthy. Sefolosha is a terrific defensive asset, but can be hot and cold with his jump shot. If he can shoot the ball consistently, he will play a huge role for the Hawks this season.
2015-2016 Stat Projections: 6.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg and 2.3 apg
Muscala did not see many minutes during the regular season, but played a nice role in the postseason. Coach Budenholzer went with him over Mike Scott many times, and I believe that is a sign of things to come. Look for Moose to get more minutes this season and take advantage of them.
2015-2016 Stat Projections: 6.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg and 0.9 apg
With all the legal accusations surrounding Scott, it was unclear if he was going to be able to play this year, but it looks like he is good to go for the start of the season. Scott had a nice regular season, but fell out of Coach Bud’s good graces in the playoffs. Scott is a nice role player, but that role may diminish this season.
2015-2016 Stat Projections: 6.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg and 0.7 apg
Holliday was the most underrated signing for Atlanta this offseason. He spent last season winning a championship with the Golden State Warriors. Although he did not play much, he has talent and could be the next guy to blossom under Coach Budenholzer.
2015-2016 Stat Projections: 6.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg and 1.1 apg
Bazemore was a pleasant surprise last season and should have a similar role this year. His athleticism, jump shot, and tenacity on defense make him a valuable asset.
2015-2016 Stat Projections: 4.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg and 0.5 apg
Mack is a solid third point guard, but he is not much more than that. He saw an increased role in the playoffs because of the Hawks’ inability to put the ball in the basket, but did not see many minutes in the regular season. It should be much of the same this year for Mack.
2015-2016 Stat Projections: 4.7 ppg, 3.0 apg and 1.5 rpg
There is no guarantee Patterson is even on the Hawks opening day roster, but I think he is the best option for the final roster spot. He had a nice college career at Pitt and preformed well overseas. However, I do not see him seeing much of the floor in his rookie season.
2015-2016 Stat Projections: 4.5 ppg, 2.1 apg and 1.7 rpg