The Atlanta Hawks have defied all logic and reason this season. Regardless of the scenario, almost every single time you thought FOR SURE the Hawks were going to do something; they did the opposite. This phenomenon can be traced back to as far as the 2017 draft.
The day before the draft, the Atlanta Hawks traded long time starting point guard Jeff Teague to Indiana in a three-way trade that netted them the 12th pick of the draft. The Hawks then had both the 12th and 21st pick in the draft.
With 12, they took Taurean Prince who was unanimously mocked somewhere in the 20-30 range. With the 21st pick, they took DeAndre Bembry who was mostly predicted to be taken somewhere between 25-35. Despite looking like reaches early on, both seem to have high potential.
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The draft was just the start of the craziness that has been the 2016-2017 Atlanta Hawks. After an off-season where they lost two starters, most people predicted the Hawks to be a low playoff seed.
So how did they start the season? They won 9 of their first 11 games and shot to the top of the Eastern Conference. Just like we all predicted.
What happened after this incredible start? You’d think the Hawks would continue down the path towards being one of the top teams in the NBA. Nope. The Hawks would lose 10 of their next 11 games with some real head scratchers thrown in.
The first such game came against the Pelicans, who were 4-10 when they played. The Hawks would trail by as many as 35 and lost by 18 in a game where Anthony Davis left with an injury in the first half.
Soon after that, the Hawks would face the Golden State Warriors in Oakland in their fifth game in seven days and the second game of a back to back. The Hawks came into the game off a 27 point loss to the Jazz and a 15 point loss to the Lakers. Instead of getting blown out like the everyone reasonably expected, the Hawks fought valiantly and came within one basket of beating the Warriors.
Alright, so no big deal. If the Hawks weren’t exhausted from playing so many games, they would have had that one. Who was up next? The 5-13 Phoenix Suns. Did the Hawks get a win like everyone thought they would? Nope. The Hawks trailed for nearly 40 minutes of game time and lost by two.