New consensus on the Hawks – good, but not as good

062515-hawks-uniforms-bs2

Well, they do have new uniforms. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC photo)

The 2014-2015 Atlanta Hawks won 60 games and reached the Eastern Conference finals, somewhere this franchise had never been. It didn’t end well, but it was, in the main, a stirring season. The forecast for 2015-2016? Less stirring.

Last week the data-driven site FiveThirtyEight offered its preview. (It was written by Neil Paine, who once worked for the Hawks.) The headline says it all: The Hawks Will Be Mostly The Same, But Worse.” Paine’s numbers project the Hawks to go 45-37, which would be a 15-game regression.

On Tuesday, NBA.com offered its annual survey of the league’s general managers. The Hawks were picked third in the Eastern Conference behind Cleveland and Chicago. (It must be noted that, a year ago, the Hawks were picked third — in the Southeast Division.) The sentiment again being: Still good, but not as good.

I’d love to offer a home-cooked rebuttal to those lesser projections, but in all honesty I can’t. I don’t think they’ll be as good, either. I think they’ll miss DeMarre Carroll and Danny Ferry. I think the once-in-a-lifetime blend of last season will prove just that — a one-time thing. I’d guess they’ll win 50 games, not 60. But I’ve been wrong before, too.

Reader Comments 0

72 comments
Kickass
Kickass

Firing Ferry was the worst move ever made. All because some moron got his alleged feelings hurt. Grow a pair man! Anyway, it is just basketball-scripted like the WWE. BORING! Filled with mostly college drop out thugs.

Mike
Mike

As for Kobe it's not that he doesn't want to it's that he can't, he still won't (can't) accept that.

tyger
tyger

Its still early, teams treading water...


Other than GS, nobody pulling away...

Vet teams push it after All-star game...

Right now, stay healthy, above .500...


Hawks haven't found groove yet...

DMCs replacement still MIA...

Sefalosha playing well, Blazemore too...

Just not the Junkyard Dog...


Gotta get Tim Hardaway Jr. going...

Splitter not impact BIG envisioned...

Hawks' Big 4: Horford, Millsap, KKorver, Teague...


Bench development will be key...


Shroeder, Muscala, Scott, TMJ, Patterson...

Young legs have to turn corner b/c reliable...

Then at least a fighting chance...


Still not enough star power to beat Lebrons...



cspecial
cspecial

the problem with the hawks now are they come out and don"t play hard.they don"t attack the basket.they resolt to shooting 3 pointers instead of attacking inside.paul milsap and kent bazemore plays around, plays goofy which results in them falling behind.then they realize they have to play then they turn it on.they comes back but can"t finish because they have exhausted themselves.both milsap and bazemore quit on the team at the end in the celtic,pelican and timberwolves games.all 3 games should have been won by the hawks.also, unless they get a shotblocker to take away teams inside game, they won"t make it to the finals.al horfort can"t do this.

GWJ0525
GWJ0525

The first half of last season the Hawks were on fire and would have beaten the Cavs or anyone else at that time, but they struggled a bit late in the season and playoffs. Even before they lost to the Cavs, they just did not seem to have the intensity they had early in the season. That being said, I think they are about a 45-50 win team as I would not expect another run like early last year.

Jerry916
Jerry916

I don't think the Hawks drastically improved their roster with the loss of DMC, trading their 1st round pick for a player that appears to be n his way to the  league, and adding Splitter.


Splitter's height may help, but he's not that good.

WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR
WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR

When the Hawks were embarrassed by the Cavs last year and shut down like a bad play, I commented "one and done" for them.  I stand by that and still believe they are a top 10 (at best) team in the East.  Last year the conference finals was handed to them with opposing teams having major injuries and they still folded. This year with virtually no upgrades and a significant downgrade (Carroll), why would you expect bigger things from them.  They will struggle to make the playoffs.  Elite?  Not even close.

Mike
Mike

@WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR  Agree, Cleveland basically took their manhood in the playoffs. Lebron called it.

caneowar
caneowar

You let Carrol walk, you give away your first round pick for nothing (Hardaway) and if you think you've improved your team,  sir you are a clueless bunch in the front office. Coach can do only so much. You have weakened the Hawks this season. Not really surprised. Danny Ferry was the only one in the front office that had a clue. It's the Hawks, is anyone really surprised?

WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR
WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR

@caneowar  Not surprised at all, I said "one and done" BEFORE the conference finals last year when the brooms were out in Cleveland.

AcrusaderO
AcrusaderO

Hawks fill win probably 45 games. They're a good team but not great. This will just be another year, nothing to get excited about, it's Atlanta.

mark513
mark513

I think 60 is possible, the question is can the get over on Cleveland? Let's see how healthy we are and if Lebron slows down at all, not likely but you never know. Having a healthy Sefolosha will help our defense, scoring may be down a bit without Carroll but, lets see how Hardway Jr fits in. Coach Bud has a proven track record and all these guys buy in, plus I love Schroder off the bench the kid creates nightmare match up problems with his speed.

moboman
moboman

Hawks had at least 5 wins last season in games where they caught the opposition missing key players due to injury.  Its good that they took advantage last year, and it won't be an indictment of this years team if they win less games.  Everything just fell into place last season for the high win total.  No different that 2 years ago when Horford missed most of the year and it affected our win total.


WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR
WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR

@moboman  Way more than 5 wins.  Washington and Cleveland both had best players out during the playoffs which allowed the Hawks to even participate in the conference championship.  Pump the brakes and put in reverse.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Careful Bradley, you might get on little Mikey Gearon's bad side with articles like this.  I would hate to see you get set up like Ferry was.

CardiganBoy
CardiganBoy

Ferry's demise at the hand of Gearon Junior is his last "gift" to the Hawks.  A poor little rich boy who figured he could parlay his experience as a ball boy into owning the franchise.


And he added "African" to the growing lexicon of racial slurs.  



TOJacket
TOJacket

It's Football season.............good grief!!

WaltBBall
WaltBBall

The pundits were not right all along.  The HAWKS were not suppose to be there playing for the Eastern Conference Crown.  Remember, our beloved HAWKS were in undiscovered territory, the 3rd rd. of the playoffs.  I consider that a major accomplishment without the so-called superstar.  Lets see, OKC has a superstar, The Clippers have a superstar, the Spurs, Portland.

A lot of teams have superstars and were no where near as exciting as our HAWKS.  The King got crowned by the Warriors with a paper hat while they walked away with the trophy.  Kyrie Irving's has a bum knee, K. Love has a bum everything and LBJ has a bum back and folks want to honor them with a championship before the season gets started, they did that last season also..

Whether the HAWKS win it all or not they will give it their best and that's all I ask.  I remember when M. Jordan was all the Bulls had, he was the epitome of SUPERSTARS and he needed help, a supporting cast around him, so the superstar stuff is nonsense.  Who will take the last shot?  The man with the ball in his hands will take the last shot, last season J. Wall or Beal did not take the last shot, it was an almost washed up P. Pierce that kept them alive and they still lost to our beloved HAWKS.

I'm gonna celebrate this team for great play and taking me on one helluva ride and I appreciated that wholeheartedly, it was unbelievable and big time fun.  The seventeen wins in January was extraordinary and it was done without a superstar.  I'm on the bandwagon and screaming like hell GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The HAWKS got a taste of what they want and it has made them hungry and for one I believe they will get to the finals and if they have to go thru the Cavaliers then so be it, no biggie.

The HAWKS got bullied and banged around, they learned that when you're in the playoffs damn near anything goes, you can't cry about calls that are not made or hearty physical play, one has to walk the road to see what's on it and our HAWKS did.

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR
WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR

@WaltBBall  While you're sniffing MJ's jock strap, stop and remember he had SCOTTIE PIPPEN for all six of his championships.  Without that wingman, MJ is just another cheating husband and serial gambler and off-court public embarrassment.

Harlemdawg
Harlemdawg

If last season taught me anything...its that NBA players loaf indiscriminately in the regular season..why would we expect to do anything better against a determined Cleveland team in the play-off...Who will make a shot when we need it? horoford, teague,....korver? Really?..credits to bud for the system but he can't knock it down for them. As much as i hate it. The pundits were right all along....we don't have a true star.

J-Dawg
J-Dawg

Regular season win totals are stupid, especially in the Eastern Conference. Get to the playoffs and be good enough to not face the Cavs until the ECF.  Rest guys along the way in preparation for the playoffs at the cost of regular season wins.  The playoffs are a brand new season…and the only season that really matters.

Gbradley81
Gbradley81

Sad that the "experts" all seem to say the exact same thing.

Here's a forecast for you mark. Your writing will be mostly the same this year but worse.

WaltBBall
WaltBBall

The sports guru's are at it again, they were wrong last season and they are wrong this season, here's why (1) P. Milsap got paid and big Al and Bazemore want to get paid, those contract years tend to bring out the best and Paul will leave everything on the floor (2) last season and the finals were the best experience the HAWKS could receive, they grew up(3)Al, Paul, Jeff, Korver, Dennis  Moose, Mack and Scott  are going into another season with a better understanding of coach Buds system (4) Thabo is in his 2nd season of coach Buds system and he should thrive (5)We have witnessed the rewards of coach Buds development of players, DMC is a prime example, Hardaway is more talented offensively than DMC, think of the possibilities (6) Tiago Splitter is a pure C and understands the system he does not have to learn on the fly (7) Walter Edy Tavares  is far better than Pero and he's learning the game (8) Mack, Scott and Moose know the system and should thrive this season (9) Justin Holliday is a wild card that will pay off and (10) The HAWKS are bigger and, longer, and should live somewhere between 10-12 in rebounding this season (11) The sports guru's are caught up in LBJ mania, they practically gave it all to the Cavaliers last season and doing it again this season, the HAWKS are still under the radar.

Coach Bud is not DF and may not have DF's skill set as a GM but Bud and Wilcox will continue to put together a winner that's capable of going all the way.  The guru's say the HAWKS caught teams off guard or players had injuries which was a benefit to the HAWKS etc...etc...etc but the HAWKS are not crying about the injuries they had during the playoffs, injuries are part of the game.  I feel and believe the HAWKS can win 60 plus games this season because they are simply better then last season and their style of play will prove to be detrimental to other teams as the season goes forward. Teams are mimicking the HAWKS and their style of play but you have to have players who can buy into that kind of play and the NBA is full of egos, every player cannot function as one and their true selves will emerge into one on one BBall.  Our HAWKS are set to take us on another thrill ride, get you ticket, grab your seat and hold on.


GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Jonathan E
Jonathan E

I couldn't disagree more... don't get caught up in wins... It's apparent the the personnel on the team is better... The trade with the knicks was great, hardaway just coming into his own ( 3rd year usually productive) The center from the spurs is just a quality pick up and will offer a lot of flexibility for Al  and Schroeder will be better, this all equals another trip to the eastern conference finals... remember don't get caught up in wins!

daemonova
daemonova

this danny ferry cysage like he was the greatest Gm ever stop it, who knew Demarre Carroll was the one the got away, just stop it, yeah, I don't expect 60 wins or a 19 game win streak either, but the hawks are in good hands

KeepinItSimple
KeepinItSimple

Losing DC and Pero will hurt, and our additions are not the pass and defend types suited for this coach, but maybe it will work.  Sadly, I am just not a big fan of Hardaway or Holiday(both me first players concerned more about flash than substance .. aka Billy Knight types), but maybe they can work out.  Splitter was the best most logical acquisition of the three.


Let's also not forget the Hawks won that many games last year with injuries to 4/5's of their starting lineup at various points.  They could have won 65 or more games.  Yes, I realize other teams also had injuries, but many of those were to players with career track records of not playing anywhere near full seasons so I expect it again.  I don't expect this with the Hawks, though some injuries will definitely happen.


What will also help us is another year of experience for some of our young guys.  They are coming along well and we are entering the prime years for some of these guys.  That should count for a few wins.  Also worth mentioning is the fact that the Southeast didn't get much stronger and for that matter, most of the NBA didn't (not the greatest draft class and many went for foreign players a couple of years away).  I see 60 wins as doable if the main group can stay a bit more healthy than last season.

Adrian Gwopdaman Harper
Adrian Gwopdaman Harper

Hawks will be better this year than they were last year. They only had Bazemore, Sefolosha, and Carrol last year at the wings. We added Hardaway, Holiday, and will have another shooter/wing if Patterson makes the final roster. We got dominated because we couldn't rebound or shoot in the conference finals. So we added Splitter who helped the spurs win a ship. We also have Eddy just in case injury happens. Splitter and Eddy are exceptional rebounders and interior defender's who dive to the paint for easy baskets. So forget the pre season ratings about 15-20 games in the hawk's will have familiarized the new pieces in our system. They will be better, doesn't mean they win 70,60,50. But we are better prepared to compete all the way through a playoff series. I miss Carrol but he wasn't all that great on either ends of the floor why you think the hawks didn't challenge the offer. He wasn't worth the money. He's an iffy shooter wide open and couldn't slow down the Lebron's, Melo's, Paul George, and so on. Holiday is a solid defender who will get better in our player development system. Hardaway is a shooter as well as Holiday. We still have Bazemore who has developed his jumpshot and is a solid defender as well. Sefolosha is healing and hasn't looked bad in the pre season. So we are deeper in every position this year to where injuries shouldn't slow us down or derail our season like last year. Plus competition for minutes usually helps in player development because to see action on the court you need to improve. Enough said!....

1337S0lja
1337S0lja

Hawks will be better this year. Wins in the regular season don't mean much, just stay out of the 678th spot. It was a learning experience last year for these guys so this year they should not be taken lightly. We are a deeper team. DMC, through our PDP, went from 2 mil a year to 10 mil a year. Bud improved DMC game just like he will do with Holiday,THJR, and Edy. Hawks will be ready for the Cavs this year. if we are not, life goes on...this franchise is in good hands.

Birdfanforlife
Birdfanforlife

I think you guys are underestimating Coach Bud. If you recall last year, we threw away our last three games - so we really should have won 63 games, and that was after we lost Thabo for half the season.  I think we could easily win 60 games again depending on injuries.  But that is not what matters the most. What matters the most is that in the playoffs we can bang with Cleveland. They went all violent on us and basically injured half our team. We have to be able to push them around in the playoffs. 

Gbradley81
Gbradley81

100% true. If that's how teams have to play to win get ready for enforcer spots on every bench.

KeepinItSimple
KeepinItSimple

@Birdfanforlife  This ^^.  Almost a perfect summation. 


If we want to get anywhere in the playoffs we have to take out the Cavs hit man (Dellavedova -sp?) in game one.  He is a decent player, but his true value to Cleveland was that  his reckless hustle injured multiple opponents in the playoffs last year and the NBA refused to step in because it's poster boy (LeBron) must be allowed to win. 


Since the NBA won't take care of that nonsense, the Hawks and all other teams need to be prepared to do it. He PURPOSELY dove into legs and knees last year.  There was no doubt as to intent and the NBA protected him.  Just ridiculous.

reddjonn68
reddjonn68

45, 50 or 60 games who cares... nothing really matters in the East until the playoffs start & whether or not Lebron is healthy. The only 2 stars that can carry a team in the East are Lebron & D-Wade, when fully healthy as well as their team. I like the fact there is no pressure on the Hawks. They did improve the front line, yet lost some fire & grit with Carroll leaving. Flying  below the radar will continue to help our coaching staff, who will deploy the Popavich ( I think I can attitude).


One glaring weakness not addressed.....improving outside shooting which has given the Spurs a chance in any series the past 10 years or so. Korver cannot be relied upon to be our only consistent outside threat, which opens the interior. Don't laugh, when you can play Boris Diaw at your PF & still compete for a chance at a ring, you must be deadly from the outside. Need more consistent shooters......period. See Golden State = blueprint for ring. 

moboman
moboman

@reddjonn68 The ability of DMC to nail open 3's last season can't be understated.  

FSUNole
FSUNole

who cares...they won't come close to beating the cavs..they were completely outclassed in the eastern finals last year

Decaturian
Decaturian

I wouldn't consider this a new consensus, since everyone i talked to during this past off season had the same outlook....we haven't done anything to get better than the teams that were better than us last season.

ByteMe
ByteMe

I put them at 52 wins pending injuries.

GloryBetweenTheHedges
GloryBetweenTheHedges

We got bigger, that was always an issue I heard a lot last year. We lost Carroll but Bazemore will continue to get better in our system. Thabo will need to stay healthy. I see 50-32 and another trip to the ECF's. After this year we will have to land a big free agent.


hardworkinman
hardworkinman

Hawks needed a 19 game winning streak to reach 60 wins last year. That won't happen this season. With that being said, they will be a better playoff team. Experience in the ECF for most of the players will play a huge role. Just gotta figure out how to get past LeBron & Company.

BiCurious_Barack
BiCurious_Barack


When will the Hawks rid themselves of the FUNGUS that is Michael Gearon, JR, so that Danny Ferry can come back  HOME  where he belongs?




WhopperDawg
WhopperDawg

I agree. Carroll will be hugely missed. In the playoffs sometimes he was the only guy that was competing. The lone wolf among the lambs.


You can already see the results of Ferry leaving with mishandling of our No 1 into a backup shooting guard. Can someone explain that head scratcher to me?


I am worried we have seen the apex of this team.