NBA

Atlanta Hawks

Division: SoutheastGM: Danny FerryHead Coach: Larry Drew
2011-12: 40-26 (5th in East)vs. division 11-3
Points96.6 (17th)
Rebounds41.2 (23rd)
Assists22.4 (8th)
Opp Pts93.2 (6th)

Last Season

Despite losing their All-Star centre Al Horford just 11 games into the season, the Hawks still finished second in their division and fifth in the conference.

Atlanta's 40 wins in last year's shortened 66-game regular season, were the fourth best in the East and earned them a meeting with the veteran-filled Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs.

Horford returned during the series with the Celtics, but his presence wasn't enough to help the Hawks get into the second round, as they fell to Boston in six games.

Who's In/Who's Out

Key Additions: G Devin Harris, F Kyle Korver, C Johan Petro, F Anthony Morrow, F DeShawn Stevenson, F Jordan Williams, G Lou Williams
Key Losses: C Jason Collins, G Jordan Farmar, G Willie Green, G Kirk Hinrich, G Joe Johnson, F Vladimir Radmanovic, G Jerry Stackhouse, F Marvin Williams
DRAFTED
Round 1 (23rd overall) - SG John Jenkins - Vanderbilt

Analysis: The 6'4, 212-pound shooter has a quick release and big-time range on his jump shot. While he may be small by NBA standards, his shooting will be a welcome addition.

Round 2 (43rd overall) - PF Mike Scott - Virginia

Analysis: Scott is undersized for power forward at 6'9 and 241 pounds, but he possesses excellent rebounding skills and brings a tremendous effort every night.


Season Outlook

The Good

Horford Returns - It's easy to forget what an impact Horford's presence can have on the Hawks after he missed most of last season. Horford is a hard worker that gives his all on the defensive side of the ball. Entering his sixth season, he can provide Atlanta with 15 points per game and flirt with double digit rebounds on a nightly basis.

The Return

Al Horford's return should give the Hawks a major boost in the middle.

Highlight Reel - On any given night, Josh Smith will make a handful of plays at both ends of the court that will bring fans to their feet. As one of the NBA's most impressive highlight makers, Smith enters this season on the last year of his deal and will certainly be out to showcase his talents in hopes of landing a big contract.

Cap Relief - The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist and the great trick Hawks general manager Danny Ferry ever pulled was saving the team from salary cap hell. It's not to suggest that Ferry is the devil, but he may have sold his soul in order to open up cap room going forward and keep his club competitive at the same time. Trading Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams away in separate deals, while adequately filling their roles makes Ferry the star of the off-season.

The Bad

Say It Ain't So - The Hawks appear to have replaced Joe Johnson's production on paper, but losing a star player is always a risky move. Johnson was a two-way player that provided crunch-time scoring and strong defence on the wing. The six-time All-Star will be missed at the start of the season and if the Hawks new acquisitions fail to step up, the Hawks may miss the playoffs.

Get ready for the season with the latest from TSN.ca.

Power Rankings

08
Al Horford's return puts the Hawks in the top 10.

Player Projections

Josh Smith contributes in several categories and is the top projected Hawk at 18

Defensive Trouble - Johnson's departure will be felt most on the defensive side of the ball where the Hawks perimeter players will struggle to slow down talented scorers. Anthony Morrow and Kyle Korver are the weakest links on defence and will need their teammates to pick up the slack.

X Factor: Lou Williams
Lou williams may not have the star power of a Joe Johnson, but he is an efficient scorer and an exciting young player that could help the team forget about Johnson in a hurry. If the 25-year-old Williams continues to improve, he could give the Hawks all the offence of Johnson, at a much lower cost.

What to Expect
The Hawks are in a good position entering the season, having brought in young talent, while shedding salary for the future. The loss of Johnson shouldn't keep them from returning to the post-season as a middle of the pack team, fifth or sixth in the conference. However, despite the positive outlook, they still lack the elite talent to seriously challenge for a spot in the East final.

Depth Chart

Power Forward

Josh Smith
Anthony Tolliver
Ivan Johnson
Mike Scott

Center

Al Horford
Zaza Pachulia
Johan Petro

Small Forward

Kyle Korver
DeShawn Stevenson

Shooting Guard

Anthony Morrow
Lou Williams
John Jenkins

Point Guard

Devin Harris
Jeff Teague

Tim Chisholm's Offseason Grade

The Hawks reached their ceiling with Joe Johnson (well, actually they hit that ceiling about two years ago) and finally decided to let him go and rebuild. They sent the six-time All-Star to Brooklyn in exchange for Jordan Farmar, Anthony Morrow, Jordan Williams, Johan Petro, DeShawn Stevenson and a 2013 first round draft pick.

After spending five seasons in the Playoffs, the Hawks will probably re-enter the lottery this season, but for them that's probably a good thing.

They still have some All-Star-caliber talent in Al Horford and Josh Smith, and after jettisoning Johnson and Marvin Williams they are poised to be big-time free agent players next summer.

The club decided to take one step back this year in the hopes of taking two steps forward next year.

Either way, it was better than standing still for yet another season.

Grade: B-


Tipping Off

The Hawks kick open their season at home against the Houston Rockets.

Nov. 2 7:30pm et Rockets @ Hawks
Next 4 games
Nov. 4 vs OKC 6pm et
Nov. 7 vs IND 7:30pm et
Nov. 9 vs MIA 7:30pm et
Nov. 11 vs LAC 3:30pm et



Big Tour

A Historic Event

It was Canada's night at the NBA Draft as four players from north of the border were selected.


1. Andrew Wiggins - Cavaliers

8. Nik Stauskas - Kings

18. Tyler Ennis - Suns

45. Dwight Powell - Hornets


2014 NBA Draft Tracker

Social Media
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