Preview: Atlanta Hawks

STAYING: Kent Bazemore, Al Horford, Kyle Korver, Shelvin Mack, Paul Millsap, Mike Muscala, Dennis Schroeder, Mike Scott, Thabo Sefolosha and Jeff Teague.

ADDED: Tim Hardaway Jr (New York), Justin Holiday (Golden State), Lamar Patterson (Tofas Bursa), Terran Petteway (Nebraska), Jason Richardson (Philadelphia), Tiago Splitter (San Antonio) and Walter Tavares (Gran Canaria).

GONE: Pero Antic (Fenerbahce), Elton Brand (Free Agent), DeMarre Carroll (Toronto), Austin Daye (Free Agent) and John Jenkins (Dallas),

STRENGTHS: Teamwork … Phenomenal chemistry, effort and execution … Ball movement is reminiscent of San Antonio’s … You will not see them taking many bad shots … Really strong inside game with Paul Millsap and Al Horford, consummate pros who play the right way … It gets even better with the addition of Brazilian Tiago Splitter … Not many point guard duos better than Jeff Teague and Dennis Schroeder in the NBA … Teague has hit his prime years and Schroeder has the makings of a full-time starter not far down the road … Kyle Korver is a three-point sniper like we’ve seen few in league history … Very nice defense … They force a lot of turnovers and bad shots … They were incredibly effective in close games last year… Well-coached squad … Mike Budenholzer really gets the best out of this team.

WEAKNESSES: Yeah, they sent four players to the All-Star Game last season, but compared to other contenders the Hawks don’t have much star power … It showed in the playoffs … The departure of DeMarre Carroll leaves a hole at the wing … Atlanta needs Thabo Sefolosha, Kent Bazemore or newcomer Tim Hardaway Jr to step up … They will not overwhelm anybody with their athleticism … While Horford and Millsap are really talented, they are also undersized … Hawks have been routinely outrebounded the last few years.

PREDICTION: 1st in the Southeast Division / 3rd in the Eastern Conference.


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