The Hawks didn’t mess around this offseason, throwing money around left and right to find veteran help & fill in around their superstar point guard Trae Young. Because of that, their over/under for wins next season — according to Vegas — has risen significantly.
Depending on where you look, the Hawks are projected to win between 35-37 games next season. Remember, the season is only 72 games long, meaning Vegas believes the Hawks will improve to be somewhere around a .500 team. This should put them in a position to compete for one of the final spots in the Eastern Conference. Last season, the Hawks only won 20 of their 67 games. However, John Collins missed 25 games with a suspension and they suffered multiple injuries to key players. Still, this is asking a lot for a team to make up a 13.5-game gap over just one season.
I’m a Hawks fan, so it is impossible for me not to have some bias, but I fully expect this team to cruise past this number, finish over .500, and make the playoffs. If John Collins didn’t have to serve a 25-game suspension last season, the Hawks would have had a chance to at least make the bubble (Washington made it winning only 24 games total). Now you add Clint Capela to the mix (who has yet to play in a game for Atlanta since being acquired last season) along with the free-agent signings of Danilo Gallinari, Bogdan Bogdanović, Rajon Rondo, and Kris Dunn. If you wanna read a breakdown of what each guy brings to the team, check out Jake’s rundown here.
Those are five really high-quality additions, and it allows a lot of the Hawks talented & younger players to fight for minutes and carve out roles coming off the bench. This team’s starting five will be significantly improved, but the bench is what excites me most. Rondo leading a second unit that includes Cam Reddish, Kevin Huerter, De’Andre Hunter, and Tony Snell will be so much more enjoyable to watch when Trae Young needs a breather. Those minutes when he is off the floor is where the Hawks will see the most improvement compared to last season. Kris Dunn’s defense cannot be overvalued, according to RAPTOR, he was the third highest rated defender behind Rudy Gobert & Anthony Davis.
The one thing you have to keep in mind when predicting the Hawks record is continuity. There will be a lot of adjusting to new teammates, which could lead to growing pains and a slow start to the season. It even happened to the 2010 Miami Heat who started 9-8, and they were one of the most talented teams of all time with three best friends leading the charge. That may spell trouble in a season shortened by ten games. However, if Atlanta can avoid that and at least play .500 ball for the first month or two, they should be in fantastic shape to make the playoffs.
Oh, and the new uniforms will get us at least 2 extra wins. So clean.
Record Prediction: 39-33
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