A quick look at recent 2019-20 season projections for the Atlanta Hawks from Kevin Pelton of ESPN and Jacob Goldstein of BBall Index.
The Atlanta Hawks made a ton of changes during the 2019 offseason and lost two of their most important veteran contributors – Dewayne Dedmon and Kent Bazemore – while also retaining grizzled veteran Vince Carter.
However, according to multiple statistical projections, the Hawks will not be significantly boosted by the presence of a multitude of talented young players, including three rookies (De’Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish, Bruno Fernando).
Two separate projections – one by ESPN’s Kevin Pelton and one by BBall Index’s Jacob Goldstein – paint a rather bleak picture of how the Atlanta Hawks season will play out in 2019-20. Let’s start with Goldstein’s:
As you can see, the Hawks are only given a 15 percent chance to make the playoffs, which is only higher than 5 other teams and the Hawks are projected to win 31.2 games in the 2019-20 season – better than only the Phoenix Suns, Charlotte Hornets and Cleveland Cavaliers.
However, there might be a few problems with this list beyond the projection for the Hawks, as the Brooklyn Nets are projected to only win 37.9 games, which is only 1.7 less than a depleted Oklahoma City Thunder squad.
“Our RPM projections utilize the multiyear, predictive version of RPM as a starting point. They’re adjusted for typical player aging and — new this season — then regressed toward the player’s projected offensive rating and defensive rating from my SCHOENE projection system, based solely on box score stats. (For players without RPM projections, including rookies, the SCHOENE ratings are used instead.)”
However, using that metric, which takes into account the loss of RPM darling Dewayne Dedmon and the addition of RPM detractors Evan Turner and Jabari Parker, the Hawks are only slated for 30.4 victories, which ranks 12th in East – somehow behind the Washington Wizards, who are definitely inferior to the Hawks.
Statistical projections aren’t everything, obviously, and rookies often have notoriously low ratings in RPM in particular. Take this news with a grain of salt to be sure, and then if (when) the Hawks outperform this, bring it up as fuel for the team in 2019-20.