The Atlanta Hawks will throw out the same core group of players they have for the last four seasons, and many aren't expecting much change. In fact, many are expecting this season to be the downfall of this Hawks group, but in fact it may be their last hoorah.
Virtually no real pieces were added to the core, but with a few things that went their way in the offseason, this is now a rejuvenated Hawks team that is ready to make a splash.
While the Larry O'Brien trophy is always the ultimate goal, Hawks fans should take things one step at a time. The Hawks have never made it to an Eastern Conference Finals series in Atlanta, and this is the first time since the late 1980s that optimism has flooded the on-and-off fan base in the preseason.
But it's important for all Hawks followers—and even players—to note this: Help isn't coming. The ownership isn't going to make a league-altering move, and you can certainly bet that GM Rick Sund won't. Management is going to stand pat, and while any member of the core could be shipped off for a piece that better fits this team, it isn't going to happen.
This team shouldn't be able to surpass the Eastern Conference Semifinals this year, but they are good enough to do so.
This team has been poorly assembled. The pieces don't necessarily mesh well on the court, but this team can still get over the hump.
Almost all of what this team can accomplish, however, depends on Head Coach Larry Drew.