Yahoo projects Atlanta Hawks for 41-41 record in 2014-2015


The Atlanta Hawks don’t always garner a great deal of attention from the national media. That fact was never more evident than when one outlet projected them as the 10th (!) seed in the Eastern Conference earlier in the week, but on Thursday, one of the leading sports websites on earth weighed in on how Mike Budenholzer, Al Horford and company will perform during the upcoming season.

Yahoo’s “Ball Don’t Lie” NBA blog checked in with a preview of the Hawks, and in the opinion of Kelly Dwyer, the Hawks will earn a 41-41 mark this season. Here is what Dwyer had to say about the “best case scenario” for Atlanta:

"With Al Horford coming into his own, matching his prime with the all-around contributions of Millsap, the Hawks could develop into the steady, unrelenting team that nobody wants to play. With the vicissitudes of the NBA’s wearying schedule, the squad could pile up win after win over tired squads, and build upon the 25-21 showing it produced to start 2013-14. After all, everyone is a year older, and presumably better."

On the flip side, here were the thoughts on the “worst case scenario”:

"A still-thin roster could fall victim to injury or inconsistency or both, and miss the playoffs entirely as outfits in New York City rally around their new coaching staffs. Teague could plateau, the helpers could fall short, and the promise of last year’s near-upset in the first round of the playoffs could go for naught. Even in the crummy East, the Hawks genuinely are teetering."

There is plenty to decipher within Dwyer’s thoughts (and we recommend that you read the entire post here), but within the doomsday proposition, there is much to decipher. First, this roster probably should not be considered “thin”, especially with 14 presumably NBA-ready players available and no current health concerns. In addition, this group managed to produce a 38-44 record while Al Horford missed nearly 55 games with injury, and even if Jeff Teague were to “plateau” (as referenced above), he would be a solidly average starting point guard surrounded by consummate professionals and a fantastic coach.

To be fair, there is certainly a possibility that the Hawks could finish with a 41-41 record, and that makes this a perfectly reasonable projection. However, the lack of respect for this group remains jarring, and I’m not sure that anyone in the organization will have trouble playing the “nobody believed in us” card when the season opens.