2015 Atlanta Hawks Season Preview
The Atlanta Hawks defied all expectations a season ago, winning 60 games, earning the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, and advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals. Mike Budenholzer earned coach of the year honors, and the Hawks were one of the stories of the season. In most aspects the season was a resounding success for the Hawks, but with that have come increased expectations heading into 2015, as the Atlanta Hawks look to rebound from a 0-4 series sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The 2015 Atlanta Hawks will feature a roster with many of the same faces as a year ago, with stars Al Horford, Kyle Korver, and Paul Millsap returning. But Atlanta will have to find replacement for the defensive prowess of DeMarre Carroll who left the Hawks in free agency. The acquisition of Thiago Splitter adds a team minded big man, who has experience winning titles. But will the Atlanta Hawks have enough to overcome the Cavaliers, and healthy Bulls and Heat teams looking to bring the NBA Championship back to the East? Only time will tell.
2014 Atlanta Hawks Season Preview
Even though the Atlanta Hawks finished the 2013-2014 NBA season below .500, the Hawks still had a successful year. Atlanta was the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference and surprised many by taking the number 1 seeded Indiana Pacers to 7 games. This success should give the Atlanta Hawks confidence going into the Hawks 2014-15 schedule. Atlanta will have to compete this season without guard Lou Williams, who is now with the Toronto Raptors. But key additions of Thabo Sefolosha and extremely talented rookie Adreian Payne have the Hawks primed to take the next step in the Eastern Conference. The Atlanta Hawks will once again turn to Al Horford to lead the charge, but he will have help from veterans Elton Brand, and sharpshooting Kyle Korver. Look for the Atlanta Hawks to be one of the toughest teams in the East and for them to be greatly improved on the defensive end of the court.
2013 Atlanta Hawks Season Preview
While the Hawks bowed out of the playoffs in the first round, they did win 44 games and claim a #6 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. GM Danny Ferry is building on that, but at the same time has allowed players to sign with other teams in business decisions he think will help both in the short and long term. They’ve added Elton Brand, Jared Cunningham, Royal Ivey and Paul Millsap in an attempt to bridge the gap left by Zaza Pachulia and Josh Smith. Long-time Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer was brought it to be the new head coach to see if they can make 2013-14 a memorable season. Atlanta opens the season at Philips Arena on Nov. 1 against the Raptors before heading to L.A. for a game with Kobe and the Lakers two days later. Other key home games will be vs. New York on Nov. 16, vs. Indiana on Jan. 8 and vs. Lebron and the Heat on Jan. 20.
2012 Atlanta Hawks Season Preview
The Atlanta Hawks were one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference throughout the 2011-12 season, finishing with a 40-26 record and making the postseason for the fifth year in a row. Even when the Hawks pushed the Boston Celtics to a sixth game in their first round series, the front office saw that changes had to be made and the current roster needed an infusion of youth and talent on both sides of the court. Under the watch of new general manager Danny Ferry, the Hawks went through an extensive reformation period during the offseason that saw them purge large contracts and lay a solid foundation for the future. The Hawks' biggest move of the offseason was undoubtedly the trade of Joe Johnson, a cornerstone player for the franchise with a huge contract that was sent to Brooklyn and landed forward Anthony Morrow. The team also traded Marvin Williams for point guard Devin Harris, a move that should solidify the point guard position. The Hawks also picked up forward Kyle Korver and shooting guard Lou Williams, both moves which should improve the team's bench strength. In the draft, the Hawks landed shooting guard John Jenkins from Vanderbilt, which should solidify the team's scoring attack and can replace some of the production lost by the trade of Joe Johnson. Finally, the team picked up forward Mike Scott from Virginia, who should solidify the depth at the position. Looking ahead to the upcoming season, the Hawks will need to stay healthy underneath the basket where they have a fearsome duo of centers in Al Horford and Zaza Pachulia. Korver and Morrow are expected to see plenty of time at the small forward spot, while the power forward position is very strong with Joe Smith and Anthony Tolliver. Perhaps the biggest change comes at guard with Devin Harris expected to team with point guard Jeff Teague to become a very formidable tandem. With all of the moves the Hawks made in the offseason, it's hard for fans to say that they've improved considerably, but can take solace in the fact that the team may have taken a step backward to take a huge step forward. By ridding itself of bad contracts and getting younger and faster on offense and defense, the Hawks have all the makings of an up-and-coming team that could eventually become a major contender.
2011 Atlanta Hawks Season Preview
The Atlanta Hawks have been one of the up-and-coming teams in the NBA over the last several seasons, and they took another step forward last year after advancing to the second round of the playoffs. The Hawks return much of their starting talent from a year ago, and with a new coach at the helm, they are poised to recreate some of that same success. Atlanta has a solid starting five anchored by shooting guard Joe Johnson. Johnson averaged more than 21 points a game last season, and is surrounded by a talented supporting cast. Point guard Mike Bibby, center Al Horford and forward Josh Smith have all proven themselves as reliable players. Smith will likely anchor the defense, as he led the team with 2.1 blocks a game last season. A lot will be expected from Horford as well. The 6-foot-10 center averaged 9.9 rebounds and 14.2 points a game, and has the ability to dominate the paint. The Hawks are one of the youngest teams in the NBA, but they certainly have a great deal of potential. It would not be surprising to see them be among the leaders of the Eastern Conference come playoff time.
2010 Atlanta Hawks Season Preview
The Atlanta Hawks head into the 2009-2010 NBA season hoping to once again make the playoffs. The Hawks return plenty of talent and will be led by Mike Bibby, Joe Johnson and Josh Smith. If those three and Head Coach Mike Woodson get Atlanta headed in the right direction, then look out for the Hawks to make some noise in the Eastern Conference.
2009 Atlanta Hawks Season Preview
The Atlanta Hawks will be looking for the postseason again this season, after falling in seven games to the Celtics last year. Look for Al Horford, Acie Law and Mike Bibby to step it up a notch to put the Hawks in playoff range. Seeing an Atlanta Hawks game at Philips arena with its unconventional layout and modern amenities is a unique experience, and provides a great vantage point from which to watch this Atlanta Hawks team grow.