We make a jump into 100-1 territory together with the Atlanta Hawks–one does not feel big enough.
Before Al Horford went down with (another) torn pectoral final season, Mike Budenholzer’s birds were 16-13, looking like the third-best group from the East. After losing its very best player, Atlanta shut out the year with a 22-31 mark.
Obviously, since the East was the East, the Hawks still made the playoffs.
Horford is healthy and looking just fine in preseason play, this season . Plus, Paul Millsap is playing for a contract, Jeff Teague remains among the least appreciated talents of the league and Thabo Sefolosha is in town to bring a few perimeter defense that is stifling.
Nobody is saying that the Hawks are a lot of world-beaters, however they feel just like postseason locks. And they may very well finish among the conference’s top four.
At the minimum, they will jack a lot of threes (just the Houston Rockets tried more in 2013-14) and also look after the ball (Atlanta’s assist-to-turnover ratio had been second best at the East). That is a recipe for success.
Do not sleep on the Hawks.
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