Hawks receive mediocre NBA record prediction from ESPN

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This is a big season for the Hawks with a full offseason of Quin Snyder and a potentially new-look roster.

On paper, it looks very similar to the team from a year ago, except for John Collins. However, the actual systems and schemes will be much different, especially considering the type of players that will assume JC’s minutes — Jalen Johnson and Saddiq Bey.

The Hawks have talent to work with, led by Trae Young and Dejounte Murray, but the fit is clearly wonky with two ball-dominant guards. Still, if anyone can figure it out, it’s the mad scientist that is Quin Snyder.

This season could be a pleasant surprise or a reality check that the pairing of DJM and Ice Trae just won’t work. ESPN is going with the latter in their NBA record predictions, with Atlanta finishing 41-41.

The contenders

1. Boston Celtics: 55-27

2. Milwaukee Bucks: 54-28

3. Cleveland Cavaliers: 50-32

4. Philadelphia 76ers: 47-35

5. Miami Heat: 46-36

6. New York Knicks: 46-36

The play-in group

7. Atlanta Hawks: 41-41

8. Brooklyn Nets: 39-43

9. Indiana Pacers: 38-44

10. Orlando Magic: 38-44

Here’s what they had to say about Atlanta:

The Hawks have the best chance from this group to break through after two straight appearances in the play-in tournament. Much of that promise will depend on the continuing partnership of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray.

Quin Snyder enters his first full season as Atlanta’s coach and will have one the East’s strongest backcourts with Young and Murray, who signed a four-year, $120 million deal this summer. Expect Onyeka Okongwu to take a larger role in the frontcourt after the departure of John Collins.

Depending on the betting outlet, the Hawks’ win total is around 41.5-43.5 wins. So, ESPN’s record prediction isn’t off-base. Though I am optimistic about Snyder’s abilities and the talent on the roster, I’d be a fool to guarantee the Hawks make the playoffs without having to go through the play-in tournament.

The Quin Snyder hiring and Dejounte Murray extension were promising moves, but there’s still a lot left to be desired with this roster. I would advise Hawks fans to be is cautiously optimistic, but more moves must be made before this team can be a perennial playoff contender.

Photo: Brian Rothmuller/Icon SportsWire


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