2) Hawks must avoid a repeat of last season
Atlanta set a record for most games within one game of being .500 themselves last season and the trend was not just in their record. They were the epitome of “mid,” on both sides of the court last season.
Their schedule won’t do them any favors.
And returning the bulk of the roster – but arguably worse with the loss of John Collins and no direct replacement – is as bold of a move as an organization looking to be better can make. But even as General Manager Landry Fields reiterated his comfort with taking this group into the season, he did leave the door open for further changes to the roster if need be.
That is both a good thing and a bad thing if the last few years for the Hawks is any indication as their moves have been a mixed bag of results.
Trading for Murray was expensive and is believed to have been a driving force behind former team president Travis Schlenk’s departure. But it gave the Hawks a true second star next to Young who desperately needed someone capable of taking over if need be.
To that end, the two have to play off each other better this coming season.
They need to be better prepared to defer and/or step up when the moment calls for it, and sometimes that will mean taking over together. The best news is that both have been willing participants in working toward that end and remain optimistic about what the future may hold if they can make the partnership work.