Monday, 15 Jul 2024

2022-23 Season Preview: Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks had a taste of success when they reached the Eastern Conference finals in 2021, but they stumbled last season and barely made it back into the playoffs. However, the team has made some key changes and maintained flexibility to improve their performance.

One thing that hasn’t changed is Trae Young, who continues to be the franchise player that the Hawks need. His flair and bankability have made him a valuable asset to the team. The addition of Dejounte Murray has created a potentially balanced backcourt, combining Young’s offensive firepower with Murray’s sticky defense.

The Hawks’ success will depend on how the rest of the team falls into place. Players like John Collins and others need to get back on track with their growth. Additionally, the team must avoid injuries to their core rotation players. This season could be make-or-break for coach Nate McMillan if the Hawks find themselves fighting for a spot in the Play-In Tournament again.

BIGGEST QUESTION

One of the biggest questions for the Hawks is whether they can embrace defense. With Dejounte Murray on board, Atlanta has a defensive backbone. However, the rest of the team needs to follow Murray’s lead and develop a consistent defensive mindset. Last season, the Hawks struggled defensively, especially in crucial moments. It will be crucial for swingman De’Andre Hunter, who was limited due to injury last season, to become the high-level defender that the Hawks projected him to be.

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SEASON PREDICTION

The competition in the Eastern Conference will be fierce, and it’s uncertain whether the Hawks can compete with the top six teams. They lack the firepower and muscle of the contenders vying for Eastern Conference supremacy. However, with the Young-Murray backcourt combination in its first year, the Hawks are expected to be in the mix with the second tier of teams. The team’s overall defense, the performances of Hunter and Collins, and the emergence of a solid bench player will be critical factors. A playoff appearance is the best-case scenario, but it’s also a realistic one.

1 KEY STAT TO KNOW

The Hawks’ second-ranked offense averaged a league-low 297 passes per 24 minutes of possession.

PROJECTED STARTING FIVE

  • Trae Young: A certified star who led the league last season in total points and total assists. Young’s trajectory gives Atlanta hope that he can be the centerpiece of a title contender someday.
  • Dejounte Murray: A versatile guard who excels on both ends of the court and can handle tough defensive assignments.
  • De’Andre Hunter: Playing for a contract extension, Hunter is motivated to have a bounce-back season after dealing with injuries and inconsistent performances.
  • John Collins: Despite a down year, Collins remains a valued piece and an offensive threat at the rim.
  • Clint Capela: A reliable big man who thrives in the pick-and-roll and dominates on the boards.

KEY RESERVES

  • Bogdan Bogdanovic: A superb shooter who can provide scoring bursts alongside Young.
  • Onyeka Okongwu: A young big man who showed promise last season and brings energy to the team.
  • Justin Holiday: A veteran swingman known for his smarts and consistency.
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LAST 5 SEASONS

Here’s how the Hawks have fared statistically over the last five seasons:

Season OffRtg DefRtg NetRtg
2021-22 ??? ??? ???
2020-21 ??? ??? ???
2019-20 ??? ??? ???
2018-19 ??? ??? ???
2017-18 ??? ??? ???

Note: OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions, DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions, NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions

This preview sets the stage for the upcoming season for the Atlanta Hawks. With the right combination of talent, improvement, and defensive focus, the Hawks have the potential to make a playoff run. Keep an eye on the team as they strive to reach new heights in the competitive Eastern Conference.

FAQs

Q: Can the Hawks compete with the top teams in the Eastern Conference?
A: It will be challenging for the Hawks to compete with the top teams in the conference due to their lack of firepower and muscle. However, they have the potential to be in the mix with the second-tier teams.

Q: Who are the key players to watch for the Hawks this season?
A: Trae Young and Dejounte Murray will form a dynamic backcourt duo for the Hawks. The performances of John Collins and De’Andre Hunter will also be crucial for the team’s success.

Q: What is the Hawks’ biggest challenge heading into the new season?
A: The Hawks need to improve their defense and develop a consistent defensive mindset as a team. De’Andre Hunter’s development as a high-level defender will be crucial for the team’s overall defensive performance.

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Summary

The Atlanta Hawks are entering the 2022-23 season with renewed optimism and potential. With Trae Young leading the way and the addition of Dejounte Murray, the team has a strong backcourt combination. However, the Hawks will need to address their defensive issues and get key players back on track to compete in a highly competitive Eastern Conference. With the right improvements, the Hawks have a realistic chance of making the playoffs. Follow the team closely as they navigate the challenges of the upcoming season.