- NBA Rank: 13
Conference Rank: 4
- Atlanta Hawks
"It's a trap!"Admiral Ackbar- Return of the Jedi
The Hawks were perhaps the best 38-44 team in the History of the NBA. Keep in mind, they were without their star center (Horford) for the majority of the season and were 25-21 on February 1st. That was followed by a period during which, how do I put this delicately, their incentives were confused and they went 6-20 culminating in a 31-41 record on March 29th. They then decided to make the playoffs going 6-2 over the final stretch and almost took out the one seed in round 1.
The Hawks were way better than their record last year. In fact, you might even say their record was a trap.
The Hawks season in 2013-14, as I mentioned, was really the story of two seasons. With Horford on the team, they went 16-13 and when trying, which by my eye test looks to be before february and after march, went 32-24. That's a 45 win pace prorated to an entire year.
|Louis Williams ||1445.0||27||.096||2.9|
|Cartier Martin ||822.0||29||.049||.8|
|James Nunnally ||54.0||24||-.053||-.1|
|Jared Cunningham ||22.0||23||-.180||-.1|
Indicates that the player is no longer with the team.
Our friend Kyle Korver led the way for this team with 10 wins, and DeMarre Carroll took the robin spot, with Millsap taking chair number three. Had Horford been available, this would have been a rock solid starting lineup. Let's get this all up on a graph:
You see the problem? To me what that graph shows is a solid roster that went off the rails when it had to rely on Pero Antic, Mike Scott, Elton Brand and Cartier Martin for 4643 minutes. Ugh. Brand wasn't so bad in classic Wins Produced but he was an atrocity on defense. Pero was out there doing his impression of a former number 1 pick that currently plays in a big metropolitan area in the East.
One big positive is that this year's team didn't lose anyone of note other than Lou Williams, and he only played 1445 minutes.
|Thabo Sefolosha ||2.0||1361.6||31||.136||3.9|
|Kent Bazemore ||3.0||1094.8||26||.027||.6|
|Adreian Payne ||4.0||389.3||0||.051||.4|
|Jarell Eddie ||2.0||315.8||0||-.016||-.1|
Indicates that the player is new to the team.
I'm quite bullish on this team. The model is slightly less so. Let's illustrate that difference:
You'll note that most of the problem players (Pero Antic,Mike Scott and Elton Brand) are still on the team and are now joined by Kent Bazemore. A healthy Horford would offset a whole lot of that. I also love the addition of Thabo Sefolosha, who's been outstanding his entire career. We also loved Muscala's college profile. We're not quite as crazy about the rest of the rookies.
The Hawks have the dubious honor of being the last preview for the Southeast. This does not mean that I think they're anywhere close to last in this division. The Southeast is, to me, four close teams hovering in the 40 to 50 range and Orlando. One of them will catch a break and get a top four seed.
My gut says that it might just be the Hawks.