Atlanta Hawks Could Be Playoff Dark Horse, Per Spencer Dinwiddie

Spencer Dinwiddie against the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Spencer Dinwiddie against the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images) /

A quick look at Nets’ point guard Spencer Dinwiddie chiming in on the Atlanta Hawks chances to make the NBA playoffs next season in a watered-down Eastern Conference.

After being a doormat for years, the Brooklyn Nets made the playoffs last season for the first time since the 2014-15 season, when they were an 8-seed going up against… none other than the 60-win Atlanta Hawks team that was the top seed in the East.

Since that series, both teams have changed dramatically, with the Atlanta Hawks now serving as a rebuilding team with the Nets taking a game off the Philadelphia 76ers before bowing out in 5 games in the first round.

One of the main drivers of the Nets’ success is backup point guard Spencer Dinwiddie, whose penchant for clutch triples and underrated length and speed make him an extremely important part of the team.

According to a recent Tweet, Dinwiddie believes the Atlanta Hawks might actually be something of a “dark horse” playoff contender in the East:

Certainly, the Atlanta Hawks have a tantalizing young core headlined by second-year players Trae Young and Kevin Huerter, third-year man John Collins and rookies De’Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish and Bruno Fernando.

However, the team has not particularly improved on the fringes of the roster, perhaps even getting worse with the loss of Dewayne Dedmon via a lucrative free agency deal with the Sacramento Kings.

The main tipping point for the Atlanta Hawks success this upcoming season is whether or not the rookies will be able to immediately impact winning basketball. As good as Young and Huerter were last season, it took them both quite a while before they were fully comfortable with the speed and strength of modern-day NBA players.

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Will there be a similar learning curve for this year’s rooks, and will it be enough to keep them out of the playoffs for the third straight season? Only time will tell, but it’s good to hear Dinwiddie sounding optimistic.