12) Atlanta Hawks 44-38 in the 2012-2013 season. 6th in the East. 2nd in the Southeast.
The Hawks have gone through an interesting change in their team. They let go of longtime PF Josh Smith and remodeled their team for the future. They decided to take Paul Millsap from the Utah Jazz and try him out alongside Center Al Horford. This team has some big questions on it, but let's remind everyone they are in a weak Eastern Conference. This team might be enough to be a sleeper out East. Horford and Millsap could prove to be a lethal combo, and some interesting players are looking to get their shot to make some noise for Atlanta.
Acquired: Paul Millsap, Elton Brand, DeMarre Carroll, Gustavo Ayon, Jared Cunningham
Drafted: Lucas Nogueira (#16), Dennis Schroeder (#17)
Lost: Josh Smith, DeShawn Stevenson, Johan Petro, Anthony Tolliver, Ivan Johnson, Devin Harris, Zaza Pachulia
Starters: Jeff Teague (PG), Lou Williams (SG), Kyle Korver (SF), Paul Millsap (PF), Al Horford (C)
Bench: DeMarre Carroll (SF), Elton Brand (PF), Dennis Schroeder (PG), John Jenkins (SG), Gustavo Ayon (PF)
Up: Paul Millsap - Getting out of Utah might have been the best thing for Paul Millsap. While Paul made quite a name for himself alongside Jefferson on the Jazz, it was time for him to venture to another team. Atlanta gives him an opportunity to prove himself, and he has another strong Center to work with in Al Horford. Millsap showed he can play, but now is his time to prove he can be a part of a team that can make it farther in the playoffs.
Down: Jeff Teague - The road for Jeff Teague has been a weird one. Jeff Teague had an offer sheet with the Bucks in Free Agency and asked the Hawks to not match the offer sheet. Now that they did, there is a lot to wonder if Teague is pleased with how things are going for him in Atlanta. The Hawks will continue to expect big numbers from him, but it will be interesting to see how he comes out for Atlanta after they went against his wishes and kept him.
X-Factor: Al Horford - This guy is a rock solid player. He stayed consistent with Josh Smith around him last year, and helped the Hawks try to stay competitive in their first round series vs. Indiana. The question now is if Al Horford is buying what the Hawks have put around him. He's a big guy who could be a key piece to a contending team. If he likes this team, he could be lethal this year for the Hawks, and could sneak them up in the playoff picture.
Question to Ponder...What is Atlanta's plan at Point Guard?
This team decided to re-sign Jeff Teague, yet he might not even be the best Point Guard on the roster. Last year saw him put up some decent numbers, yet he didn't give them enough to get past the Pacers. He has the game to start in the NBA, but the Hawks are looking for more to team up with Horford and Millsap. They drafted young German stud Dennis Schroeder with the #17 pick, who showed in Summer League he could really play in this league. If Teague continues to play lackluster, do they possibly decide to sit him? Well....
Bold Prediction for the Atlanta Hawks: Dennis Schroeder starts at Point Guard come playoffs!
Two factors come into this bold prediction. One, I really am iffy after the whole debacle of the Jeff Teague offer sheet problem this past offseason. Two, Schroeder is an absolute stud. Watching him play at the Summer League was amazing, and even though it wasn't against top competition, he's going to have those games that blow away the fans and make them wonder most of the year why he isn't the starter. Then at the end of the year, the Hawks will look at him and decide to give him the starting gig come playoff time, looking to excite the fans. He's a deep sleeper for Rookie of the Year too. Remember the name Schroeder folks.
Projected Record: 45-37 6th in the East, 2nd in the Southeast.