The NBA rosters are close to being completed, the schedules have been released, and the NBA basketball season is just a month and a half away!
So, let’s take a look at what’s in store for the 2013-14 Atlanta Hawks. First off, lets revisit last season to giver some perspective going into next season. Last year’s campaign turned out a 44-38 overall record and an the Eastern Conference 6th seed in the playoffs. To break it down a little further the Hawks were 11-5 in the division, 29-23 against the East, 25-16 at home, and 19-22 on the road.
As I usually do with most of my articles, I want to put some points out there that can explain the thinking behind my opinions. I am one of the people who thinks this Atlanta Hawks team will be better than the group that took the floor last season (+2 wins this season). In my opinion, the efficiency of this team is going to make them a harder opponent to beat, night in and night out, over the the course of the season.
Looking at the Southeast division first, I was a big fan of what Charlotte did in the offseason. I don’t actually think they became a playoff contender but they are not longer an easy out when they come to town. We know about the Miami Heat, and there’s nothing new to add there. A healthy Washington Wizards team will be slightly better, and Orlando will return to the bottom of the league standings as they continue to play their young kids. Not much has changed here, the Heat are the best team in the division and the Hawks will be second.
As we look at the East as a whole there are some landscape changes. Miami is a 60+ win team that’s all I have to say about that. Who knows what we will see from a talented, but often injured Knicks team. Boston looks to have a long season in front of them as they lose Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets no doubt will be a better team, but I’m not sure how big a jump they will make in the W-L department (49-33 last season). Chicago should make huge strides with the return of Derek Rose, and Indiana will hang around the 50 win mark again. I’m not a buyer on Detroit. No doubt they have more talent than last season, but I don’t think it does more than make them the 7th seed.
All that being said, lets go through my predictions for the 2013-14 Eastern Conference forecast…