Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

It’s time to take the Atlanta Hawks seriously

The Atlanta Hawks have been a playoff team in each of the last seven seasons. Although these playoff runs have not gone very far, it is a still a streak that needs to be respected. This year, the Hawks are aiming for a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals, and maybe more. As of now, they stand at 26-8 and in first place in the conference.

Before the season, this is something that almost no one say coming. Weren’t the Cavaliers and Bulls supposed to be the top teams in the East? Truth is, Atlanta is on a roll right now, as the Hawks are 20-2 in their last 22 games. They couldn’t be playing any better. Can the Hawks keep this going and make a deep playoff run.

Mike Budenholzer has been nothing but outstanding as the head coach of the Hawks. The former longtime-assistant coach of the San Antonio Spurs was able to bring the system from the Spurs to the Hawks. With Budenholzer preaching ball movement in Atlanta, the Hawks are averaging 102 points and 25 assists per game. When a team plays unselfish basketball, it’s going to produce wins. Budenholzer was the right hire for this team, and I expect him to be in Atlanta for quite some time.

Jeff Teague was my pick to win the Most Improved Player award, and he is making a great case for it. He has emerged as one of the top young point guards in the league, averaging 17.8 poings and 7.8 assists per game this season. While the scoring could come up a bit, he’s really made a stride in getting his teammates involved. Teague has taken a leadership role on this team, and he is excelling in it. Don’t be surprised if he is one of the NBA’s top point guards in a few years.

Al Horford and Paul Millsap have formed a great frontcourt for the Hawks. Horford is a great post player, while Millsap is able to create space for Horford with his mid-range game. Both players could very well be in the All-Star Game this year. With Horford being back at full health, we are seeing the true potential that the Hawks have. If the Hawks want to keep this remarkable season going, both players need to keep playing this way.

Role players such as Kyle Korver, Dennis Schroder, DeMarre Carroll have all stepped up this season. Dennis Schroder is coming along very well with this team and is developing a lot quicker than expected. Korver and Carroll are the sharpshooters of this team and can get the team going when they are in a shooting slump. These players are essential to the growth and success of the Hawks.

While the Hawks are going to have a very successful season, it is still hard to see them as a legitimate title contender. Sure, they’ll probably get out of the first round, but can they really make it to the Conference Finals? Eventually, Cleveland will get it together and the Bulls, Raptors, and Wizards are great teams. But, what the Hawks are doing right now has to be respected by the entire league.


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