Nov 16, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) drives against New York Knicks power forward Andrea Bargnani (77) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Atlanta Hawks won 110-90. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN Summer Forecast: Atlanta Hawks at 7th in East

ESPN’s annual Summer Forecast for the Eastern Conference standings were released earlier today and the Atlanta Hawks placed 7th with a projected record of 42-40.

According to ESPN, the Hawks will finish below teams like the Toronto Raptor (47-35), the Washington Wizards (47-35), the Charlotte Hornets (45-37), and the Miami Heat (44-38).

Atlanta finished last season at 38-44, squeaking into the playoffs as the eight-seed. This was pretty impressive for the Hawks as they suffered a litany of injuries throughout the season, most notably to All-Star center Al Horford. The team ended the season in a 4-3 playoff series loss to the top-seeded Indiana Pacers in the first round.

The Hawks are healthy this year and are looking to improve on their mark from last season. They also have a revamped roster, as they re-signed two of their best role players (Shelvin Mack and Mike Scott), signed two free-agent wing players (Kent Bazemore and Thabo Sefolosha), and drafted a new stretch-PF (Adreian Payne).

For the Hawks, this season will mark the second year under head coach Mike Budenholzer. Coach Bud will be looking to perfect the system he implemented last year, and with the roster being almost identical to last season expect the system to run more efficient.

What do you think about ESPN’s ranking of the Atlanta Hawks in their projected standings? Let us know in the comments and also check out some of our own predictions here at Soaring Down South!

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