Out with the Old. In with the new.
Atlanta will look very different this season after an eventful off-season. Losing Jeff Teague via trade and Al Horford via free agency, the Hawks needed to make a splash in the free agency to keep afloat in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Enter Dwight Howard!
With all the turmoil Howard received (and some he caused) in both Houston and LA, he is looking for a new fresh start and Atlanta is the best place him to do so. Along side young point guard Dennis Schroder and crafty forward Paul Millsap, Atlanta seems like the perfect place for Howard to get back to his “Superman” ways. Howard has the pieces and coach around him to get more touches, which will help both Howard and the Hawks.
Last season, the Hawks made it to the second round of the playoffs before ultimately getting swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Hawks had problems matching the scoring power of Cleveland. Yes, Howard is a great piece (when he is both healthy and caring about playing), and Kyle Korver is still a sniper from a beyond the three point line, but did Atlanta get that scorer in the off-season that puts them over the top?
If Dwight Howard can get back to his dominant ways, the Hawks will be good. If Dennis Schroder continues his climb into point guard royalty, the Hawks will be good. If Millsap and Howard can co-exist, the Hawks will be really good. If Kent Bazemore continues to grow as a solid two-way player, the Hawks will be good. If their group of young wings can contribute or even have one step out of the shadows as a big time contributor it would go along way. DeAndre Bembry, Taurean Prince, and Tim Hardaway Jr have an opportunity to make a difference and Atlanta really needs one of them if not all to do so.
“IF” of course is the primitive word circling the Atlanta Hawks going into the 2016-17 season.