Ever the optimist, I think the Hawks are pacing themselves this season. They are better than they have played the past few months.
Last season the Hawks got on a roll and went undefeated in January. Then they kept going and chased that 19-game win streak.
Playing that hard night in and night out gave the Hawks a great regular season record. They were also burned out by the time the playoffs rolled around.
The Hawks rely on movement and effort to make their offense run. That burns a lot of energy. They don’t have a true scoring threat, the guy that can create his own shot and carry the team. I think they are pacing themselves this season.
Thabo Sefolosha and Kyle Korver are still working their way back into shape. Jeff Teague has been slow by an ankle injury and Dennis Schroder, despite his impressive skill set, is still trying to figure out how to run an NBA team. I think they will all be improved by playoff time, barring injury.
Night in and night out the only three players on this team that you know what you will get are Paul Millsap, Al Horford and Kent Bazemore. Three isn’t enough to win 55+ regular season games, at least with this team.
Atlanta is currently fourth in the East, five games behind first place Cleveland. They are also only three games ahead of ninth place Boston. Ninth place of course means no playoffs.
I think the Hawks will finish third or fourth in the East and be ready to go in the playoffs.