The Atlanta Hawks made one of the best moves of the offseason when they traded for the two-way talents of Dejounte Murray. They made a number of other savvy moves which helped them achieve their offseason goals.
While the Hawks have taken a number of steps forward, there have been teams who were above them last season that have not had good offseasons. This is where the Hawks can hopefully pounce and qualify directly for the playoffs.
This is really important as we will never know the impact of Clint Capela getting injured in the final play-in game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Still, there is no point looking back at that series, it is in the books. Now the Hawks are looking to embark on an exciting 2022-23 season where they are likely to be a contender in the Eastern Conference.
So which teams are potentially going to fall below the Atlanta Hawks?
According to Zain Siddiqi of the FanSided flagship site Hoops Habit, there are three likely playoff teams from last season who have the potential to fall below the Hawks. The first of these is the Chicago Bulls. They have made sure that their core is still together but without their best defender and creator, Lonzo Ball, the Bulls look likely to slide down the standings.
The second team which is likely to slide down the standings is the Toronto Raptors. Yes, they almost beat the Philadelphia 76ers in their playoff series but they have relied on internal development rather than adding talent. We all know how that worked out for the Hawks last season.
Lastly, there is the Boston Celtics. Last year’s finalists from the Eastern Conference have had a horrendous offseason with their coach being suspended for a season. This was a result of an inappropriate relationship with a staff member in what appears to be a huge error in judgment.
However, on-court is also a problem with the Celtics as they are going to be without newly signed Danilo Gallinari for the whole season. They are also going to be without Robert Williams for 8-12 weeks which is going to severely impact their defense for that time.
This could see the Hawks as high as sixth and that is not taking into account the moves that they made. Look for them to potentially pass the aging Miami Heat as well.