Atlanta Hawks: NBA 2014-15 Season Preview, Prediction, Outlook
2014 NBA Season
The Line: See the Latest Odds
The Atlanta Hawks have made the playoffs in seven straight seasons and return majority of last year’s roster. With a second season under head coach Mike Budenholzer, another playoff bid certainly isn’t out of the question.
Here’s your 2014 Atlanta Hawks NBA preview.
USA TODAY Sports
Key Additions: Adreian Payne, Thabo Sefolosha, Kent Bazemore
Key Losses: Louis Williams
Biggest Strength: While the three-ball was the Atlanta Hawks biggest strength last season, I’d say their ability to pass the ball will be their strength this season. People forget that the Hawks were second in the league last season in assists, and that was without Al Horford on the floor, who is a real underrated passing big man. With the return of Horford, the Hawks will have six players who averaged at least 2.6 assists a game last season. The ability to set teammates up and make the extra pass is also the reason the Hawks shot a cool 36.3 percent from downtown as a team last season. The Hawks are a very unselfish basketball team and will continue to get quality looks with their passing ability.
Biggest Weakness: While Al Horford, Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague are all solid players, the Atlanta Hawks still don’t have that go-to guy who scares their opponents. It’s been the Hawks downfall for years. Great basketball teams have a solid group of guys and a supporting cast, but they also have that one player who can put the team on his back in crunch time and takeover a game. Millsap or Horford can do that at times but it’s far from a consistent thing. The Hawks don’t have a superstar and don’t have that player who can give you 30-plus every night. The Hawks will continue to be a mediocre team until it finds a leader and consistent All-Star.
Expectations: I think the expectations for the Atlanta Hawks are what they’ve been for years. A team that wins 35-40 games and is bounced in the first round of the playoffs. The Hawks will be a better basketball team with a healthy Horford on the floor, but he’s simply not enough to get them over the hump in a improved East. The Hawks are an average team that will either just miss or just make the playoffs, a lot like last season.