After recapping the Hawks season, I got various responses. Many fans were satisfied and proud of the team for the season’s success. The Hawks had a franchise record 19 game winning streak, broke the franchise record for wins in a season with 60, and successfully reached the Conference Finals for the first time since moving to Atlanta. However, for some fans this simply was not enough. I got loads of responses from fans saying they were embarrassed or disappointed after being swept by the Cavs. So for that reason I have to answer the question: Was this season a giant success or a huge disappointment?
The answer is easy. The Hawks and their fans should have nothing but smiles when looking back at the 2014-2015 season. Getting swept in the Conference Finals will leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouths, but the Hawks were unhealthy and inexperienced. The Hawks during the regular season were a perfect team. Their collective attitudes, unselfishness, and skills made them a juggernaut. Taking one piece away from that puzzle, even if it is just a role player like Thabo Sefolosha, makes the team significantly more vulnerable. Unfortunately, for the Hawks it was a lot more than just Sefolosha. Millsap, Carroll, and Korver all sustained significant injuries before the end of their marvelous run. The Hawks started arguably their 9th man in Kent Bazemore against the Cavs. To beat Lebron James and the Cavs, the Hawks had to be at full strength, and it just was not meant to be.
As I have said before, the Hawks remind me a lot of the 2002-2003 Pistons team. They were an inexperienced team that played a very team oriented style of basketball. They were able to reach the Conference Finals, but got swept by the New Jersey Nets. Over the offseason, the Pistons made minor moves, but stuck with the same core. They added Rasheed Wallace during the 2003-2004 season and won the championship. The Hawks have the opportunity to do the same thing next year and should go about it the same way. The Hawks do not need a big shake up this offseason. They need resign their guys and add key pieces for depth through the draft and free agency. Unfortunately the results were not great, but the city of Atlanta got to experience the amazing atmosphere of an Eastern Conference Finals. Hopefully next time the results will be better, but for now the Hawks and their fans should hold their heads high on what was an amazing season.