Atlanta Hawks 2017 NBA Preview, Draft, Offseason Recap, Depth Chart, Outlook
Atlanta Hawks 2017 Preview
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The Atlanta Hawks haven’t missed the NBA playoffs since the 2006-07 season and have to like their chances to keep that streak alive in the watered down Eastern Conference. However, the Hawks are in a clear rebuild and expectations seem to be lowered quite a bit. This could end up being one of the more challenging seasons for coach Mike Budenholzer since coming to the team during the 2013 season.
Here is your Atlanta Hawks 2017 NBA preview.
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Key Player Losses: The big loss for the Hawks was watching Paul Millsap leave for the Denver Nuggets. Millsap was a four-time All-Star during his time in Atlanta and averaged 17 points and eight rebounds, making him the most reliable player on the team. After two seasons with the Hakws and coming off his best year yet, Tim Hardaway Jr. returns to the New York Knicks on an insane deal. Dwight Howard was traded to the Charlotte Hornets after a one-year homecoming that included 13 points and 12 rebounds on 63.3 percent shooting, a career high. Thabo Sefolosha leaves for the Utah Jazz after three seasons with the Hawks.
Key Player Additions: The Hawks get their new shooting guard in NBA champion and veteran Marco Belinelli, a career 37.7 percent shooter from deep and somebody who scored 15 or more points 18 times last season. The Hawks also snagged an interesting young center in Diamond Stone, who played just seven games with the Clippers last season, but he has great size and athleticism and is only 20 years old.
Draft: John Collins is a promising power forward who averaged 19 points on 62.2 percent shooting last season with Wake Forest. Collins is somebody who can contribute right away, but he also has the potential to be the future starting power forward with the Hawks for years to come. Tyler Dorsey could be an energy spark off the bench, as he’s a knockdown shooter from the outside and shot 45.5 percent from the field in two seasons with Oregon. Atlanta also got a power forward from France in Alpha Kaba, who could develop into a decent rim protector and somebody who could space the floor on the offensive end.
Outlook: The Hawks lost three of their top four scorers from last season, putting a ton of pressure on Dennis Schroder to take his game to new heights and Budenholzer to put together lineups to get consistent production. The Hawks are in clear rebuild mode, as they’re trying to get younger and find nice players to provide a nice future moving forward. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Hawks missed the playoffs due to teams on the rise such as the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers. Remember, the Hawks finished just four games above .500 last year, which was just a two-game difference from finishing outside of the playoffs. This may be too much turnaround in one year to overcome.