2015-16 NBA Preview – Atlanta Hawks

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2014-15 Record: 60-22

2014-15 Offense: 102.5 PPG (10th)

2014-15 Defense: 97.1 PPG (5th)

Key Additions: Tiago Splitter (C), Tim Hardaway Jr (SG)

Key Losses: Demarre Carroll (SF), John Jenkins (SG), Pero Antic (C)

2015-16 Outlook:

The Hawks were a great story last year. After years on the “Treadmill of Mediocrity”, the Hawks broke out and won 60 games. They went on a crazy 19 game winning streak in the middle of the season. They had four players make the All-Star team. They still lost on the conference finals to Cleveland, even though they had homecourt. Was last year a fluke or will they improve upon last year and make the finals?

The first roadblock to making the finals is the loss of starter DeMarre Carroll. The journeyman forward became a key part of the Hawks but then turned that success into a nice contract from the Raptors. Thabo Sefolosha, who should be back from an injury that forced him to miss last year’s postseason, will likely replace him in the starting lineup. If you don’t remember, Sefolosha had his leg broken by a cop in New York City. He’s currently suing the NYPD and he’ll probably win.

The loss of Carroll was not the only change for the Hawks. They got Tiago Splitter from the Spurs, basically for free. Splitter is an incredibly effective big men whose contributions were under appreciated in San Antonio. He is a massive upgrade over Pero Antic, who left to play in Turkey.

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Antic was unbelievably terrible last year. I don’t know how someone that bad could get minutes on a 60 win team. He was supposed to be a shooter but he shot 37% last year. He’s a center and he shot 37%. Deandre Jordan shot 71%. That’s almost double Antic’s percentage. Atlanta is so much better with Splitter.

Even if the Hawks made no changes this offseason they would probably win less games this year. I don’t think they got much worse though, even with losing Carroll. They’re still going to win fifty games this year.

2015-16 Projected Record: 53-29

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