2014-2015 stats: 15.9 points, 7.0 assists
It is tough to ask much more from Teague as he continued to improve and headed one of the most effecient offenses in the league. Teague was a top flight point guard in the NBA all year and was rewarded with his first career all-star appearance. However, there is no question Teague has room for improvement in his game. Too many times Teague seemed to tune out of the game and lose his aggressiveness. He is by far the most talented scorer on this Hawks team, and Atlanta needs him to take over down the stretch of games. Teague has the talent to be great and can become the best point guard in the Eastern Conference.
While it might seem like a lot to ask, it is not. Teague had games where he completely dominated some of the top point guards in the league. All Hawks fans will remember his heroic Eastern Conference Finals Game 3 performance in Cleveland. Teague carried an injury plagued Atlanta squad by scoring 30 points and dishing out 7 assists in a heartbreaking overtime loss to Lebron James and the Cavs. The game might have been a loss that ultimately eliminated Atlanta from the playoffs, but Teague showed he has the ability to carry a team by himself. Look for him to build off the momentum of last season and take his game to another level this year.
2014-2015 stats: 15.2 points, 7.2 rebounds
Like Jeff Teague, Al Horford made the 2015 all-star game. Horford put together another very solid season, but he will look to return back to his full form now that he is a full year back from the injury that cost him most of the 2013-2014 season. It was not too long ago that Horford was a consistently getting 17-19 points per game and 9-10 rebounds per game. Horford will get the opportunity to play the power forward spot with the addition of Tiago Splitter. He should be able to really take advantage of smaller defenders and score more in the paint. Look for upticks in both points and rebounds for Horford this season.
Horford is also entering the last year of his contract with Atlanta. While he has made it evident that he has no intentions of leaving Atlanta, the way he plays this season will definitely have a huge impact on the amount of money he receives next off season. Horford has stated he has no intentions of talking about a new contract until after this season. He is a confident man, and he is betting on himself.
Tim Hardaway Jr.
2014-2015 stats: 11.5 points, 2.2 rebounds
There is no doubt Hardaway Jr. played poorly last season. He failed to shoot 39% from the field, and when he is not scoring effectively, he is not a great basketball player. However, Hardaway Jr. had some of the worst basketball talent around him. If the New York Knicks were not a joke before Carmelo Anthony got shut down for the season, they were certainly a joke from then on. Hardaway Jr. was forced to do a lot by himself in one of the worse offenses in the league.
In Atlanta, Hardaway will be in one of the most efficient offenses on the NBA. Just by switching teams, his FG% will increase dramatically. The Hawks gave up a 1st round pick for this guy, and they did it for good reason. He fits the need and the system of the team. The Hawks bench struggled mightily to score at times during the post season. Hardaway will be coming off the bench for the Hawks and does one thing very well, shoot the three-point bomb. Even with his poor overall shooting percentage last season, Hardaway was able to shoot an effective 34.2% from behind the arc and is a 35.3% three-point shooter in his short career. He can catch fire from the three-point line, and in Atlanta he will get plenty of wide open opportunities. He will cash in on those and have a big year for the Hawks.