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Hawks 2019-20 Schedule: Top Games, Championship Odds and Record Predictions

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 12, 2019

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) sets up a play during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic Friday, April 5, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

The Atlanta Hawks likely aren't making the playoffs this season.

They're still in the early stages of a rebuild, with their most prominent moves of the summer including taking back bad contracts of Chandler Parsons, Evan Turner and Allen Crabbe.  

Atlanta was active on draft night, trading up to land De'Andre Hunter while also snagging Cam Reddish—two guys some draft analysts had in their top five overall in this class.

The team also signed Jabari Parker to a two-year contract in a high-upside, low-risk move that smart rebuilding teams do. Adding Parker to a team that already drafted Hunter and Reddish is a bit of an eye-opener, but the Hawks saw an opportunity and will hope he'll add some firepower.

With Trae Young looking to continue his ascent from the second half of last season and John Collins looking like a perfect pick-and-roll partner, the Hawks will rank among the sneaky favorites among League Pass aficionados.

Here is a look at how their season will take shape now that the full NBA schedule has been released.

      

2018-19 Details

Season Opener: at Detroit Pistons (Oct. 24)

Championship Odds: +25000 (Caesars)

Full Schedule: NBA.com

       

Top Matchups

Dallas Mavericks (first meeting: Feb. 1)

For as much as the storyline became overwrought, Young and Luka Doncic are intrinsically linked. When Young looked like an unconfident bust during his first few NBA months, the Hawks looked like fools as Doncic soared to stardom. Young's strong second half led some to believe he'd closed the gap and even was a challenger to Doncic for Rookie of the Year.

The voting for that award proved Young never had a realistic chance, but their sophomore seasons will be fascinating.

Doncic wound up being traded for Young and Cam Reddish, who was a one-year disappointment at Duke but was considered a top-three lock at this time a year ago. If Reddish winds up realizing some of his potential, the "winner" of this trade will become an awfully interesting discussion.

Doncic has all the makings of a superstar and is a good summer workout routine away from taking a giant leap. He's found a way to be a sensational, crafty player with a somewhat soft body; a diet and workout regimen that adds even 10 percent more in quickness and physicality could make him unstoppable.

Young will probably always be a high-variance offensive player. He still didn't make even a third of his threes on six attempts per game last season; that percentage has to creep up to at least 35-36 for Young to really bend defenses the way he needs. 

A reminder that second-year improvements are not a given. Ben Simmons didn't find a jumper, Jayson Tatum didn't blossom into a star, and Donovan Mitchell was somewhat inconsistent. If anything, all three of those guys plateaued in their second NBA season.

Watching Young and Doncic head-to-head will be a fun exercise in where they stand as sophomores.

     

Prediction

The Hawks are young and have talent at every position on the floor. They're well-coached, fun and have enough players with varied skill sets that you could probably talk yourself into them reaching the No. 8 seed in the decrepit East.

Don't hold your breath.

These rebuilds take time, and the Hawks don't have a generational superstar on their roster—barring a massive increase in shooting consistency from Young. LeBron didn't make the playoffs his first two seasons; KD didn't make the playoffs his first two seasons; these things don't happen overnight.

The Hawks will improve next season, but they should target next season as their playoff push. 

Record Prediction: 36-46