BoxScore Geeks' 2014 Atlanta Hawks Preview

The Numbers

  •  Average Seed
    6
  • 📉 Pessimist
    32.4 wins
  •  Realist
    40.6 wins
  • 📈 Optimist
    48.9 wins
 First Seed
 
3.0%
⋆ Division
 Top 4
👍 Over (41.5)
ğŸ‘Ž Under (41.5)
ğŸŽ€ Playoffs

"It's a trap!"

Admiral Ackbar- Return of the Jedi

The Brief

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 Story

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.

Last Year

  •  Actual Wins: 38
  •  Expected Wins: 39.6
  • ⚅ Lucky Wins: -.3

 

 

Player Minutes Age WP48 Wins
Jeff Teague 2542.0 26 .065 3.4
Paul Millsap 2482.0 29 .125 6.4
Kyle Korver 2408.0 33 .200 10.1
DeMarre Carroll 2341.0 27 .180 8.8
Shelvin Mack 1490.0 25 .066 2.1
Mike Scott 1482.0 26 .009 .3
Louis Williams  1445.0 27 .096 2.9
Elton Brand 1414.0 35 .109 3.2
Al Horford 958.0 28 .154 3.1
Pero Antic 925.0 31 -.022 -.4
Cartier Martin  822.0 29 .049 .8
Dennis Schroeder 641.0 20 -.123 -1.6
Gustavo Ayon 429.0 29 .138 1.2
Mike Muscala 215.0 23 -.065 -.3
John Jenkins 158.0 23 -.062 -.2
James Nunnally  54.0 24 -.053 -.1
Jared Cunningham  22.0 23 -.180 -.1
Dexter Pittman 3.0 26 .405 0

 

 Indicates that the player is no longer with the team.

  • 39.6 total Wins Produced
  •  4 players leaving
    (2343.0 minutes, 3.6 wins)

 

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.

 

This Year

  •  Projected Wins: 40.6
  •  Conference Rank: 4
  • % Playoffs: 75.7

 

 

Player Position Minutes Age WP48 Wins
Jeff Teague 1.0 2260.6 27 .111 5.2
Paul Millsap 4.0 2248.1 30 .137 6.4
Kyle Korver 2.0 2241.5 34 .128 6.0
Al Horford 5.0 2042.6 29 .132 5.6
DeMarre Carroll 3.0 1891.6 29 .166 6.5
Thabo Sefolosha  2.0 1361.6 31 .136 3.9
Mike Scott 4.0 1278.3 27 .049 1.3
Shelvin Mack 1.0 1152.4 25 .117 2.8
Pero Antic 5.0 1099.9 32 -.002 0
Kent Bazemore  3.0 1094.8 26 .027 .6
Elton Brand 4.5 701.7 36 .044 .7
Dexter Pittman 5.0 494.3 27 .039 .4
Adreian Payne  4.0 389.3 0 .051 .4
Mike Muscala 5.0 378.9 24 .130 1.0
John Jenkins 2.5 372.2 24 .027 .2
Dennis Schroeder 1.0 356.1 21 -.041 -.3
Jarell Eddie  2.0 315.8 0 -.016 -.1

 

 Indicates that the player is new to the team.

  • 📅 40.4 WP last year
    by these players
  • 🔀 .4 WP (roster changes)
  • ⏲ -.7 WP (age/experience)

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 Wrap

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.

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