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NBA 2015-16 Team Previews: Atlanta Hawks – Soaring In Unity

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Atlanta Hawks

Our NBA 2015-16 Team Previews continue with the Southeast Division, next up the Atlanta Hawks:

Record:  60-22, 1st in the Eastern Conference, 1st in Southeast Division, Lost in Eastern Conference Finals

Rank: Offense: 106.2 (6)   Defense: 100.7 (7)  Differential/Net: plus +5.6 (4)  Pace: 96.2 (15)

2014-15

Key Stats:

  • Second overall in Assist per game with 25.4
  • Third overall in limiting opponent’s transition points with 10.9 per game
  • Third overall in Three Point percentage with 36.9%

Off Season Moves

Key Areas Needing Addressing:

  • Terrible rebounding team
  • Rim Protection
  • No “go to ” man

Draft:

Player Additions/Players Re-Signed:

Players Exiting:

2015-16

Core Players:

Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, Kent Bazemore, Paul Millsap, Al Horford

Key Reserves:

Tiago Splitter, Tim Hardaway JR, Dennis Schroder

Outlook

Rising Star:

Feb 9, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague (0) looks on during the first half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Teague is a vastly underrated point guard who brings it on both sides of the floor. His ability to read an offensive players move at an alarming rate has made him an adequate on ball defender. Teague also is the quarterback of one of the most fluid offenses in the league. He never really forces the issue when it’s not there but when the opportunity approaches itself, his motor at the point of attack is rare and what makes it unique is his uncanny instinct to sniff out cutters seconds before they cut. Teague has also improved on absorbing contact in the lane while finishing with an array of floaters.

On The Bubble:

DeMarre Carroll was a huge part of this Hawks team. He was the tough, glue guy who did all the dirty work and made timely baskets. With Carroll gone, will Kent Bazemore be able to step in as a starter and contribute as much as Carroll did?

X-Factor:

The Hawks glaring weakness was it’s lack of protection at the rim. Their off season acquisition of Tiago Splitter will make a huge impact in terms of how far they go in the post season.

Best Case:

Atlanta picks up right where they left off last year with a 60 season win. But this time around with some added rim protection, the Hawks will actually put up a fight against the Cavaliers knocking them out in the second round.

Worst Case:

All of last season was a fluke, Korver’s shooting expedition comes to an end and the absence of DeMarre Carroll really hinders this teams toughness.

First Round Exit.

Prediction:

Jan 31, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) reacts after almost making a basket as he was fouled in the fourth quarter of their game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Philips Arena. The Hawks won 91-85. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Though I don’t expect the Hawks to be as lethal as they were last year, they will continue to be a contender to come out the East as long as Budenholzer is there.. Atlanta’s ball movement on offense is beautiful like the Spurs, the ball is never stuck on one side and always finds its way to a wide open look. Not a lot of teams exhibit the kind of unselfishness this Hawks team has made a killing out of. Although they patched up a hole defensively on the interior, offensively the Hawks are a team that’ll live and die by the jump shot. In the post season when things aren’t falling, who’s going to step up for them and provide a scoring punch?

Second Round Exit.

Games versus the Houston Rockets

Fansided Affiliate Site:  Soaring Down South

Make sure you catch up on our entire Team Preview Series, our Houston Rockets Player Profile Series as well as our SCS Round Table Sessions to help you get through the early season. Start your morning with SCS Rocket Science Daily and visit us throughout the day to keep abreast of all your Houston Rockets news and updates.

Next: Wizards Preview

Next: Rockets Preview

Next: SCS Complete Round Table Sessions

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