The Atlanta Hawks have arrived.
Trae Young, John Collins, and company made a statement in the 2021 NBA Playoffs, as they upset the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers in seven games to face the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Young is a star in the making, and he showed just how dynamic he can be on offense during the Hawks’ postseason run.
Unlike many teams in the East, Atlanta didn’t have the cap space to make a flashy offseason move. However, it didn’t need to. The Hawks have done a great job in the NBA draft in recent years, adding Young, Collins, Kevin Huerter, Cam Reddish, and De’Andre Hunter to the roster.
Atlanta locked up Collins for the long term this offseason and made two more draft picks that could pan out nicely in Jalen Johnson and Sharife Cooper.
Atlanta is one of the teams that could benefit if the Sixers implode during the Ben Simmons saga, and it showed it can hang with the top teams in the East heading into the 2021-22 season.
Atlanta Hawks Win Total Prediction | 46.5 (Over -112/Under -110)
The difference is that Atlanta has maintained the continuity that it established in the 2020-21 season. Miami has a better team with Kyle Lowry in the fold, but the bench is thinner and it takes time for some new pieces to adjust to the lineup.
Boston essentially swapped Kemba Walker for Dennis Schroder but it also improved its depth with Al Horford and Josh Richardson. Atlanta may not have made a big move, but the team that made last year’s run is still there.
I love the Hawks to push for the over on this number, and if they do, they might win the division over the Heat for the second straight season.
Atlanta Hawks Playoff Odds
Despite being the No. 5 seed last season, Atlanta went on a major run and has earned -500 odds to make the postseason this year.
Atlanta and Boston have the same playoff odds, but I think the Hawks are a great bet to land in that No. 4 to No. 5 range once again. Having a healthy Hunter and Reddish will be key, but the Hawks made a lot of noise even with Solomon Hill filling in for the two youngsters most of the season.
Atlanta was a much better team under Nate McMillan, and with him as the team's head coach for a full year, the Hawks may take another leap.