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) /
5 of 5
Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks Media Day (Photo by Kevin Liles/NBAE via Getty Images) /

How the Hawks Can Make the Playoffs

It all starts with John Collins and Taurean Prince. They are the young players who have already showed their potential. If TP plays like he did in the final two months of last season, wherein he averaged 19 points on 45% shooting, he’ll be an All-Star.

Collins was arguably the best player statistically in Summer League this year, and will look to take his athletic scoring to the next level this season. If he’s able to add the three pointer he teased last season, he could be their best player by season’s end.

The trio of rookies all need solid output, and Trae Young getting off to a hot start is a near necessity. Hopefully Summer League and preseason action will be enough for the college star to adjust to the pros.

Hot. 3 Ways Trae Young Will Impact the Hawks. light

Kevin Huerter has a pro-ready jump shot, and Omari Spellman provided a few highlight plays since being drafted to show that he could be a steal after being drafted 30th overall.

The vets would also need to step up. Kent Bazemore is a solid two-way wing and is  coming off his best season as a Hawk. Dewayne Dedmon is a quality starting big man, and offseason acquisitions Alex Len and Jeremy Lin can be difference-makers on both sides of the court.

The Atlanta Hawks are sneaky-deep beyond the big-name youngsters and vets, as DeAndre’ Bembry, Tyler Dorsey, Vince Carter and Justin Anderson can all have occasional good games.

All that talent is a clear upgrade from last year’s squad, and there could be a real road map for 40 wins next season.

Most importantly they need to get off to a hot start. Last season’s 2-12 start ensured they were at the bottom for almost the whole season, and it’s hard to climb back from being 10 games under .500 after only 14 games played.

Luckily, they have a soft schedule to start the year, playing the Knicks, Grizzlies, Cavs, Mavericks, Kings and Bulls in the first few weeks. Getting a few wins under their belt would not only boost the confidence of the inexperienced roster, but also hopefully put them ahead of other teams fighting for the seventh and eighth seeds.

To wrap up: The Hawks will need at least 40 wins by getting good performances from their rookies and veterans alike. Other bubble teams like the Hornets, Pistons, Heat and Cavs need to struggle, and Atlanta needs to get off to a hot start.

Sounds easy, right?

5 Most Exciting Players to Watch in 2018-19. dark. Next

Making the playoffs shouldn’t happen for a team in year two of the rebuild process, but the Atlanta Hawks are being underrated by most media pundits and have a chance to sneak in thanks to the lackluster talent levels in the Eastern Conference compared to the juggernaut West.