As free agency buzz starts to die down with the passing of the LeBron decision and the signing of Shaq, the big picture starts to become clear as to how this upcoming season is going to play out. Myself and guest opinion, Renaldo Eugene, will be breaking this season down team by team writing about a different team each day alphabetically from Atlanta all the way to Washington.
The Atlanta Hawks had another decent season last year, earning a 53-29 regular season record, making the playoffs, and winning their first round series against the Milwaukee Bucks four games to three. They went on to get swept in the next series by the Orlando Magic.
The Hawks had a good squad last year and they have managed to retain every one of their starting five. They were able to re-sign SG Joe Johnson, a key starter and scoring leader for their offense, dropping 21.3 ppg last season.
Another big move over the off-season was the firing of Coach Mike Woodson and the hiring of Coach Larry Drew. Woodson had been the head coach since 2004, racking up a total record of 206-286 with Atlanta. He also accumulated a postseason record of 11-18. The Hawks were swept in the second round of the playoffs the past two postseasons.
This season looks like it may be just as successful for the Hawks. They have Johnson returning along with G Mike Bibby, C Al Horford, PF Josh Smith, and SG Jamal Crawford, which should give the team some extreme offensive firepower. Atlanta should look forward to another 50+ win season plus another trip to the playoffs.
The Hawks will most likely finish behind Miami, Orlando, Boston, and Chicago in the regular season standings. So, If they finished in this order they would theoretically play Chicago with Chicago getting home court advantage.
If this is the case I think it will end up going to the seventh game to decide the series winner. I would have to give the series to Chicago, winning it four games to three.
No matter what happens this season though, I don't see the Atlanta Hawks having any chance of missing out on the playoffs.
Make sure to check out the next article in this series on the Boston Celtics!