Atlanta

Hawks

Survey data collected from team site writers and editors.

7.5

Out of 10

I trust in management and the coaching staff

7.5

Out of 10

I enjoy rooting for these players and this franchise

7.5

Out of 10

I am optimistic about the direction of the team

A Q&A with Brad Rowland of SB Nation’s Hawks site Peachtree Hoops.

What needs to happen for this to be an enjoyable season for Hawks fans?

Development from young players. Atlanta's performance this season may not be fantastic in terms of wins and losses, but the progress of players like Dennis Schröder, John Collins, Taurean Prince, and DeAndre' Bembry is paramount. If nothing else, the rebuilding Hawks need to be able to grasp which of these prospects represent real core pieces for the future.

Atlanta Hawks
Position Starters Bench
Guards Dennis Schröder Malcolm Delaney Quinn Cook Tyler Dorsey
Wings Kent Bazemore Taurean Prince Marco Belinelli DeAndre’ Bembry Nicolas Brussino
Bigs Dewayne Dedmon Ersan Ilyasova Mike Muscala John Collins Luke Babbitt Miles Plumlee

What makes Hawks fans most excited about this year? What makes Hawks fans most nervous?

The excitement surrounding the Hawks is largely rooted in youth and optimism for the future, as well as something shiny and new. Atlanta's playing style should be more entertaining this season after what was kind of a slog a year ago, and the nightly progress of the young roster should be fun to monitor.

In terms of nervousness, there is some reason to be fearful that the Hawks overachieve (and cost themselves in the NBA Draft Lottery) because of Mike Budenholzer's wizardry and the presence of some solid veterans.

What storyline might a national audience be missing about the Hawks?

Prince as "a thing" for the future. 3-and-D wings are perennially undervalued by most basketball fans and Prince projects to be another example. He doesn't appear to be a 20-point scorer, a 40 percent three-point shooter, or an absolutely elite defensive player. But there is big-time value in a 6'8, physically gifted wing who can provide average (or even above-average) production on both ends.

There aren't many of those guys in the NBA, and the Hawks may have found one with a late 2016 lottery pick.

Why should neutrals pay attention to the Hawks this year?

Collins is a lot of fun, and the young talent is intriguing.

It might be hard to sell purely casual fans on the Hawks because of the lack of big names, but it should be a relatively entertaining product. By the end of the year, the youth movement should be in full effect.

What's your prediction for the season?

26-56, 13th in the East.