Can John Collins lead the Hawks on a charge to the 8 seed? Photo from @NBANewsNow247 (Twitter)
  • Atlanta Hawks Win Total improves to 35 from 33.5
  • Trae Young’s improvement down the stretch shows promise
  • Atlanta has promising crop of young talent 

Given recent history, it’s difficult to fathom that the Atlanta Hawks clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference less than five years ago after 2014-15’s impressive 60-win campaign, as changes to the coaching staff and roster has seen this team struggle to top 30 total wins for the past two seasons.

With a new front office regime and a budding young core built around point guard sensation Trae Young and big man John Collins, as well as rookie selections De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish, the Hawks are looking to improve this season and potentially even hunt for a playoff spot.

The oddsmakers aren’t quite all the way in on the hype yet, pegging the team’s NBA win total at 35 heading into the upcoming season.

Atlanta Hawks 2019-20 Season Win Total

Outcome Odds at MyBookie*
OVER 35 +100
UNDER 35 -130

*Odds taken 10/07/19

Young Leads Charge 

Last year’s Atlanta team only managed a 29-53 record, putting them in the 12th seed in the Eastern Conference above the Bulls (22-60), Cavaliers (19-63), and Knicks (17-65). While not impressive in comparison to the rest of the league, the Hawks’ 29 wins actually put them over the 23.5 win total set by the oddsmakers heading into the 2018-19 season.

Young struggled out of the gates, averaging 14 ppg in November while shooting 35% from the field and 19% from three-point range on a run that saw the Hawks win only three of 16 games.

A 5-20 start saw last year’s squad struggle out of the gates, but as the season progressed the team began to show promise. Young began to develop chemistry with his teammates in a way that saw him become one of the NBA’s best assist-men, behind only Russell Westbrook in total assists on the year.

 

As the rookie began to find his footing, so did the team, as Atlanta quickly transformed from a cupcake matchup to one that could cause concerns for teams jockeying for playoff positioning.

Offseason Improvements

Atlanta added to their firepower by acquiring sharpshooter Allen Crabbe from Brooklyn, while also bringing on Evan Turner in a trade for Kent Bazemore, who adds the much needed veteran leadership on a very young squad. Veteran Vince Carter will also return for what will be the final season of his illustrious NBA career.

Likely the biggest moves of the season, the team picked up Duke’s Cam Reddish and Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter through the draft. While skeptics will still point to the franchise’s decision to trade Luka Doncic for Trae Young as another front office fumble, the draft pick acquired in the trade will prove itself more than worthy should Reddish develop into a key player alongside Young.

What’s the Best Bet?

The Hawks averaged a league-leading 106.4 possessions per game last season, making them the NBA’s fastest team. The addition of two more rookies should support the quick, youthful attack, while the addition of perimeter shooting will help this team convert better on the offensive attack.

While Atlanta managed to improve their overall performance in the second half of last year’s season, seven more wins seems like quite the ask from bookmakers.

The longterm upside of their recent moves seems positive, but your money is best spent backing the under 35 wins with a team that is a few moves away from a future playoff berth.

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