This is the first installment of a series in which I will preview the 2015-16 season for every team in the NBA. The NBA season is now just a couple of weeks away, and it looks to be a great year. We will be previewing teams in alphabetical order, so with that, let's get started with the Atlanta Hawks.
PG: Jeff Teague
SG: Kyle Korver
SF: Thabo Sefolosha
PF: Paul Millsap
C: Al Horford
Key Bench Pieces:
Tim Hardaway Jr.
The Hawks head into the 2015-16 season with extremely high expectations. Atlanta played their way to the number one seed in the Eastern Conference last season, but struggled in the postseason on their way to a 4-0 sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Hawks escaped facing the Wizards in a game seven in the semifinals after a review determined that Washington Wizards' forward Paul Pierce's corner three to end the game was still on his fingertips with less than a second to go. The Hawks were also taken to a sixth game by the eighth seed Brooklyn Nets.
Playoff struggles seem to be commonplace for the Hawks after great regular season success, but Atlanta will try once again to fix that reputation this season. The Hawks brought back four out of the five starters from a year ago, with small forward DeMarre Carroll departing for Toronto. Still, the Hawks have most of their key pieces still intact, and with the NBA's reigning Coach Of The Year Mike Budenholzer, the Hawks are looking at another great year.
Kyle Korver and Jeff Teague make up one of the East's most explosive offensive backcourts, and Al Horford and Paul Millsap are one of the best power forward-center combinations in all of basketball. Thabo Sefolosha is an elite defender and a serviceable offensive small forward.
Dennis Schroder is one of the best backup point guards the conference has to offer, and Tim Hardaway Jr. has flashed A LOT of talent early in his career with the Knicks before being dealt to Atlanta on draft day.
The Hawks have been called things such as "the Spurs of the East", and rightly so to an extent. Almost anyone on their roster can get the job done, and they proved that last year. With a great system, a talented roster, and a weak conference, the Hawks have a real chance at another top-four playoff seed.
By Jacob Young, @Jacob_BBS