Atlanta Hawks Can Make the Playoffs in a Weak Eastern Conference

John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks
John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

A look ahead to the 2018-19 season, which is only 4 days away, and a prognostication on how the Atlanta Hawks could miraculously make the 2019 playoffs.

After 10 straight seasons of playoff basketball for the Atlanta Hawks, the wheels finally came off last year.

The Atlanta Hawks won just 24 games en route to the 3rd overall pick in the 2018 Draft. Despite the record, the season could be seen as a success from a rebuilding outlook, as young talents John Collins and Taurean Prince showed their potential on the court, and they were able to acquire three first round picks as well.

Usually, year two of a rebuild is a time for an organization to see what kind of talent they have and look to develop said talent instead of winning now and making the playoffs.

That being said, there have been a few examples of teams exceeding beyond their rebuilding tag, some even making the postseason.

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The Hawks would need breakout campaigns from a handful of their youngsters and solid seasons from their veterans to make a playoff push, and while that’s not too much of a stretch, there is one major factor helping them: The Eastern Conference is historically weak.

The superstars of the NBA have been on a migration to the West lately, with Paul George, Jimmy Butler, Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James all traveling westward in the past few years. This has created a competitive imbalance between conferences the league hasn’t seen in quite some time.

The Atlanta Hawks are slated to be among the worst teams in the league, even having the worst chance of making the playoffs in the East, just a 0.3% chance, according to ESPN’s BPI.

Those odds are too low in the diminished East. They have so many unproven players that it’s hard to gauge how good they will actually be. With the conference as weak as it is, they honestly won’t need to be exponentially better than last season.

We’ve been over how the Hawks can be good at length here at SDS and it’s time to look how they could once again be playing in the playoffs thanks to little competition.