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Thoughts on NBATV Hawks Preview


benhillboy

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I gotta catch the rerun, I started at the 24 minute mark.  Interesting takes from Greg Anthony (predicted 43 wins) and John Schumann comes up with some very poingniant stat analysis.  Don't shoot, but I've just never been a big fan of Smitty, on court or behind mic.

I figured we had the best defensive efficiency versus the best 10 offenses in the league last year.  It's surprising and  troubling when we had a losing record versus said teams.  

Also, the Rockets' 21st ranked defense wasn't really different with Dwight on or off.  Many don't read too much into that because they're run poorly, constructed even worse, and have the Black Hole Harden.  But I do from a defensive leader standpoint.  Most elite defensive players have a clear, marked positive impact on the floor regardless of anything else.  If I'm not mistaken we were the best "rim protection" team?  Imma blow a gasket if we fall off signifigantly with a 3-Time DPOY because he isn't hustling, reading, and anticipating as well as Bawse (no more Alice, guys.  The wounds should have healed by now)  

I'm sure they spoke on Dennis at length and like most pundits they predict the defensive  learning curve to be a non-issue for the two rooks.

If anyone has seen its entirety, thoughts, interesting takes?

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This team is hard to predict as no one knows how good Dwight will be nor how much Dennis has improved. Overall, we just don't know.

 

With that said, if last season is a barometer, this team should be around 38-42 wins.

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 I can see what this  team is capable of even though Sap is not playing in any of the preseason games yet and that may cloud some, image of what this team can really do

HOWEVER....

ive seen a lot of good and bad but more good outweighing the bad as far as the players I expect to see play on the court during the regular season.

All in all I think there's overreaction about some things especially Dwight. It's obvious he's going to have all star like numbers in my opinion as long as he's healthy, the bigger question offensively comes down to the shooters around him which has been good and bad at times in the preseason (good thing korver is back to normal, Baze looking pretty good from 3 as well)..Chemistry will be built as the season goes along so I'm not worried about that, I can see how close they are becoming on and off the court based on the things they do and post about in the social media. Believe me Dennis and Howard will click at some point ! They've already had some outstanding plays...like both have said they just got to continue to improve the pick and roll and learn to mesh better.

I see a 50-55 win team...my biggest concern is back up pg but then again I do think jack and Delaney will fill that role just fine at the end of the day. Once the season gets going and this team is high flying and are at 1-3 seed we can get to real issue and concern of every east team that's capable of going to the playoffs..... "Can we beat Lebron?" ....."Are we good enough to take down the cavs?"....

the sad part for me this season is that I know that Howard can work out and I know this team can be amazing but no matter how good the regular season goes I will question if they can take down lebron and his cavs...

 

Sorry for the long read but I see a good very possible great season ahead.....but I want more! I want to atleast be an actual challenge in the ECF at the least. Hawks having a good season is old news.

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3 hours ago, NBASupes said:

This team is hard to predict as no one knows how good Dwight will be nor how much Dennis has improved. Overall, we just don't know.

 

With that said, if last season is a barometer, this team should be around 38-42 wins.

Yeah,  people have to remember that this team took a 13 game drop off last year.

I don't think anyone  expected a 60 win repeat, but they should have won 50.

No matter how you look at it,  this team has now changed 3 starters in two years. They didn't get better outside of rebounding in the offseason. It could be a problem.

 

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Overreaction to preseason games without our best player, team just beginning to develop chemistry, and me/me/me scrubs fighting for a spot. Dennis/D8 combo is just getting to know each other, already looking lethal. That'll continue to improve and become less forced. 3zus is back. Blaze looking good. Thabo is back. Sap will have another All-Star year. 50 wins, 3rd in the East, fall to Cavs in ECFs 4-2.

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4 hours ago, hazer said:

Overreaction to preseason games without our best player, team just beginning to develop chemistry, and me/me/me scrubs fighting for a spot. Dennis/D8 combo is just getting to know each other, already looking lethal. That'll continue to improve and become less forced. 3zus is back. Blaze looking good. Thabo is back. Sap will have another All-Star year. 50 wins, 3rd in the East, fall to Cavs in ECFs 4-2.

Kinda feels like we'll be facing the Cavs every year in the playoffs for a while. Hoping at least one of those series proves Bud right.

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Dennis is an upgrade on D at the point and Dwight should provide much improved rebounding.   I think what sap and horford were able to do was help cover up some deficiencies at the wing on D so we're going to have to see a lot more of Thabo / Prince this year.   

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We've been complaining about rebounding for how long on this board? They finally have that somewhat answered by bringing in Howard. I see some big 'ifs' in regard to chemistry, health, et al. But with that being said, they shoot poorly (especially compared to the previous year), lost a ton of close games to underwhelming teams they had no business losing to and still won 48 games last season. Give or take some early bumps in the road, I'm going with 46-53 wins this season and meeting you-know-who in the ECFs. I'm stopping right here...

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21 hours ago, hazer said:

Overreaction to preseason games without our best player, team just beginning to develop chemistry, and me/me/me scrubs fighting for a spot. Dennis/D8 combo is just getting to know each other, already looking lethal. That'll continue to improve and become less forced. 3zus is back. Blaze looking good. Thabo is back. Sap will have another All-Star year. 50 wins, 3rd in the East, fall to Cavs in ECFs 4-2.

Hopefully Bud knows when to tank games. Should have rested starters to avoid being on the same bracket side as CLE.

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I think the regular season record will be down a little due to the fact the changes in the team.  It takes awhile.  

Now what is important is that when the playoffs roll around and the game slows down its hard to guard those big guys in the paint.    All of the teams in the past we had an inside problem with will now have to guard D8 in the paint and fouls on there bigs will start piling up.  We have not had this kind of option before.

 

It will take a lot of the year for the the cohesiveness of the team.  

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I agree with The Starters, as they virtually all agreed the Hawks are the most unpredictable team this year.  Should be an interesting watch with so many roster changes and minute competition expected through the course of the season.  

I'm uncharacteristically pessimistic about the Dwight fit, so I've pledged to withhold any judgement until 20 games in.  

Don't discount Atkinson'a departure, either.  We lost some toughness and consistency when Quinn left.  Kenny was instrumental in development and adjustments.

It's a damn 15-game projection window with this team.  Injuries, poor chemistry, bad officiating, and extended stretches of Bad Dennis can have us at 43.  Bud's developmental magic, better shot selection from Dennis, a matured Dwight, and Kyle returning to form and we could be looking at 58.  

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We do have a lot of unknowns but I am not concerned with the defense at all.   I am concerned about scoring. We need that steady hand and we still don't have it after all these years. we still don't have anyone that can create their own shot. Tim Jr. looks like he is going to be streaky so we can't count on him. We are going to have to score or win ugly.  I am also not sure how I feel about starting a 35 year old 2 guard in Kyle Korver. I love Kyle but he is going to get exploited and even though we got Dwight this could lead to foul trouble. Things are so unpredictable but here are my questions:

1. How much scoring can we expect from Dennis?

2. Can Kyle man the 2 position.

3. How much better can Baze get?

4. How much scoring can we expect from Howard?

5. What are the expectations from Prince and Bemby?

6. Can we count on Tim Jr?

7. Can Tavares give us quality minutes?

 

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The Hawks have harsh critics!

 

5-on-5 predictions: Will Hawks contend in East? Trade Millsap?

Our NBA Insiders answer the big questions for the Hawks in 2016-17. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Are the Hawks built for a playoff run? What trades should they make?

Our NBA Insiders preview Atlanta's 2016-17 season.


1. What do you expect from Dwight Howard this season?

Kevin Arnovitz, ESPN.com: Excellent interior defense and rebounding, a solid option to pressure the defense in the pick-and-roll, but not much else that will distinguish him in a league where an ascending class of young, versatile big men (Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Drummond, Kristaps Porzingis, et al.) is on the rise and where centers are required to defend in space.

On the periphery, Howard is a player who has rarely inspired teammates and only occasionally makes them better -- but perhaps that's not his job in Atlanta.

Bradford Doolittle, ESPN Insider: I don't expect much to be different. He will help them on the boards and provide a high-level roll man for point guard Dennis Schröder. But Howard isn't as explosive as he once was, and he never developed a good enough post game to be a No. 1 offensive option in this diminished state. He's still a good player, just no longer elite.

Amin Elhassan, ESPN Insider: Two conflicting forces are at work: On the one hand, Howard has always thrived when he has felt appreciated, loved and, most of all, involved in the offense. Past coaches like Stan Van Gundy and Kevin McHale knew the value of getting Howard post touches early -- not because that was a particularly sound basketball play, but because making Howard feel good would lead to better play in other aspects of his game.

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer has at his disposal a variety of options within his playbook that can satisfy this need, and in turn Howard can provide something the Hawks have been lacking: above-the-rim play on both ends of the floor.

On the other hand, Father Time is very real, and very undefeated. Howard has been on a steady decline since he left Orlando, and the effects of multiple injuries have robbed him of his superhuman athleticism (he is merely athletic at a more human level now). All of that is to say: Expect Howard to be happy and effective, but don't expect gaudy stats.

Jeremias Engelmann, ESPN Insider: Howard has played really well in preseason, scoring 47 points on 33 shots. While one shouldn't overvalue preseason stats, that shows he is healthy and his teammates are finding him. The Hawks generally feature better ball movement than the Rockets, and forward Paul Millsap should be a great fit next to Howard, so I expect an up year.

Kevin Pelton, ESPN Insider: Slightly better performance than last season, but nothing approaching his prime play. Howard is nearing 31 years of age, and he has dealt with knee and back injuries, so it's unrealistic to think his downturn in Houston was strictly a matter of chemistry with James Harden. On the plus side, Howard has looked more explosive in the preseason, and we have seen him turn back the clock as recently as the 2015 postseason.


2. What do you expect from Dennis Schröder this season?

Arnovitz: Schröder will attack opposing defenses for 36 minutes per night -- sometimes to a devastating effect, and sometimes to the bemusement of teammates, coaches and fans.

The Hawks have been weighing Schröder's capacity to lead the team for the better part of two seasons, and that discussion has usually revolved around his judgment. But his defense and rebounding are also question marks that, if unaddressed, could hurt the Hawks far more than a handful of head-scratching turnovers each night.

Doolittle: Mistakes interspersed with flashes of brilliance. Being a starter means he will be the focus of more opposing game plans, and his inconsistency as a shooter might be exposed.

He will have to improve on defense as well. The Hawks will have to be patient with Schröder and stay with him even if it appears they function better with Jarrett Jack.

Elhassan: I think Schröder has the profile of a backup guard: a gifted offensive player who is aggressive, but for whom playmaking for others is not a top priority -- and someone who is not as concerned with defense as he could be.

Without any real alternative PG solutions in Atlanta, Schröder is going to be forced to either grow into something he has never been or -- more likely -- become a more exaggerated version of what he already is.

As we noted on a recent TrueHoop podcast, Schröder will probably be a front-runner for Most Improved Player because it generally rewards players who increase their scoring solely due to an increase in playing time.

Engelmann: Schröder took one of the biggest leaps in real plus-minus (RPM) last season, improving from -3.7 to 0.6. He probably won't be able to make a jump of similar magnitude this season, but I still expect him to be one of the top five point guards in the Eastern Conference.

Pelton: To win Most Improved Player. Schröder has a great opportunity at the controls of an offense that is designed to showcase its point guard. I would expect his per-game stats to jump with increased minutes as a starter.

However, his value will be determined more by his reliability as a decision maker, particularly late in close games.

3. What is the biggest issue facing the Hawks this season?

Arnovitz: Who are the Hawks? Is the Schröder-Howard pick-and-roll now the backbone of a team that for years used motion offense, defensive discipline, spacing, smart shot selection and finesse to define its nightly mission? Will the change in personnel and an aging core be able to maintain its second-ranked defense? What exactly will this team do exceptionally well this season?

Elhassan: The dearth of playmaking across the roster as a whole. Atlanta lost two of its best passers in Jeff Teague and Al Horford, and while Schröder and Howard have their own charms, a willingness to pass with vision and anticipation aren't part of that list.

Also, Horford's perimeter shooting allowed Atlanta to run a true five-out system. Replacing him with Howard, who operates almost exclusively block-to-block, will affect spacing on the floor.

 

Doolittle: It feels like losing Horford and replacing him with Howard takes away from what made the Hawks special the past couple of years. More than anything, they have to re-establish what identity they will bring to the court on a nightly basis.

Engelmann: The Hawks were already ranked near the bottom (worst) in turnover percentage last season. With Schröder (4.1 turnovers per 36 minutes) moving into the starting lineup -- and adding the turnover-prone Howard -- they might have the highest turnover rate in the league.

Pelton: Age. Three starters (Howard, Kyle Korver and Millsap) are on the wrong side of 30, and it's possible they perform much worse than expected as a result. Since there are a handful of other players in their 30s on the bench, I project Atlanta as the league's sixth-oldest team in terms of age weighted by minutes played.


4. What trade makes the most sense for the Hawks?

Arnovitz: At some point, the Hawks will have to weigh moving Millsap, whom they considered trading last summer. Millsap is entering the final year of his contract (he will almost certainly exercise his opt-out clause), he will be 32 before the All-Star break and he will demand a hefty raise next summer.

If the Hawks aren't contending, it might be wise to get value for a guy they're unlikely to retain long-term.

Elhassan: For my money, upgrading point guard would be a top priority. Armed with a couple of expiring deals (not to mention Schröder himself), the Hawks could conceivably put something together to entice a trade partner into dealing.

Doolittle: If it turns out that Atlanta is on a bridge from one version of itself to another, then moving Kyle Korver could bring back a good, cost-controlled prospect.

Engelmann: This season, I would probably stand pat -- wait and see how the new parts are working together. Over the long-term, the Hawks will probably have to find a replacement for Korver, who is 35. They own a 2018 first-rounder from Minnesota (if the Wolves make the playoffs that year). The Hawks might want to flip that pick for a wing shooter.

Pelton: Ask again as we get near the trade deadline. By then, we'll know whether the Hawks should consider trading away impending free agents like Korver and Millsap to begin the process of getting younger. For now, patience should prevail.


5. Fact or Fiction: The Hawks will make the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Arnovitz: Fiction. The Hawks have improved their lot as a franchise in recent years -- with better ownership, serious investment in organizational infrastructure and a strong coaching staff. But right now, they sit at a way station between their savvy 60-win veteran campaign and whatever lies ahead. The roster as currently constituted isn't equipped to contend.

Doolittle: Fiction. They are another one of those mid-tier teams clumped together in the East, but for the Hawks, that's moving in the wrong direction. They aren't likely to make it past the first round with this squad.

Engelmann: 50/50. I think it's between the Hawks and Pistons to grab the fourth spot. Even if the Pistons end up with home-court advantage, I like the Hawks' chances to pull off an upset because they are more experienced.

Elhassan: Sure, the Hawks are certainly good enough to win one round in the playoffs again, as I expect them to be about the No. 4 or No. 5 seed. But this team isn't as good as past incarnations, and while the middle and bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff picture remain mediocre at best, the top -- Cleveland, Boston, Toronto -- has separated itself from the pack.

Pelton: Fiction. Budenholzer has earned the benefit of the doubt by this point, but based on the talent on hand, I would say the lottery is a more likely outcome than a trip to the second round.

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