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Atlanta Hawks: 2016 Preview, Offseason/Draft Recap, Outlook

Atlanta Hawks 2016 NBA Season Preview

October 13, 2016

NBA Championship: 100/1 Over/under win total: 44.5 See the Latest Odds

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The new-look Atlanta Hawks come into the 2016-17 fresh off of a 48-34 2015-16 campaign that saw the Hawks reach the second round of the playoffs before getting swept by the eventual champion, the Cleveland Cavaliers. There’s plenty of hope for Hawks Nation and for good reason.

Here is your 2016 Atlanta Hawks preview.

Atlanta Hawks: 2016 Preview, Offseason/Draft Recap, Outlook

USA TODAY Sports

Key Additions: The Hawks welcomed former all-star center Dwight Howard home, signing Howard to a 3-year, $70 million contract in the offseason from the Houston Rockets. Howard is looking for a career renaissance to the Dwight Howard of old. The Hawks needed a replacement for forward Al Horford who signed with the Boston Celtics, and signing Howard will be Atlanta’s attempt to fill that void as Howard brings a career double-double average with him, logging 17.8 points and 12.7 rebounds per game since he joined the league in 2004.

Key Losses: The Hawks main losses came in the form of former all-star forward/center Al Horford, who signed with the Boston Celtics for a cool $113 million over four years. Horford takes a 15.2 point per game and 8.9 rebound per game average to the Celtics, adding to their front court depth with some much needed experience. The Hawks also shipped out long time point guard Jeff Teague to the Indiana Pacers that saw the Hawks acquire the rights to Baylor forward Taurean Prince. Teague was seeing a decrease in his playing time, as the 2015-16 season was the first season in five years where Teague wasn’t averaging at least 30 minutes per game.

Breaking down the draft: DeAndre Bembry finds himself going from one set of Hawks to another, as the 6’6” small forward from St Joseph’s university was selected 21st overall by the Hawks in the 2016 NBA draft. Bembry is coming off a solid junior season where he and the upstart Hawks shocked the A-10 and made it to the NCAA tournament before being knocked out by the Oregon Ducks. That season, Bembry averaged 17.5 points and 7.6 rebounds per game while shooting 48% from the field, giving the Hawks some much needed youth and strength going forward.

Outlook: The Hawks haven’t really regressed, but they also haven’t taken many steps towards proving themselves to be worthy of championship discussion. The Hawks have been the same the last few seasons, hovering around the top-4 of the conference, maybe even 5th, but they just can’t seem to get over the hump in the second round, and I’m not sure we see anything different this time around.

Projected record: 47-35

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