The Hawks went 41-41 last season, finishing seventh in the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately, their season ended prematurely for them once again as they fell to the Boston Celtics in the first round after snagging the seventh seed in the play-in game against the Miami Heat. The Hawks look to run it back. Curiously, they have hovered around the same mark over the last three seasons, compiling 41, 42, and 41 wins.
But the Hawks are determined to buck the trend. Therefore, they will look to take that next step. Quinn Snyder is the new head coach after the mid-season firing of coach Nate McMillan. Also, General Manager Travis Schlenk is also gone after stepping down. The Hawks have a management staff and hope it pays dividends.
Atlanta got rid of John Collins in a trade to the Utah Jazz this past offseason. Thus, they will have slightly less experience. But Snyder will look to help Trae Young and Dejounte Murray mature. Additionally, he will also have to work with Onyeka Okongwu and AJ Griffin to help them move into large roles. Snyder is a players' coach and will hope to unite the young talent property.
Here are the Hawks NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NBA Odds: Hawks Odds
Over 41.5: -122
Under 41.5: +100
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Why The Hawks Will Win 42 Games
The Hawks need some maturation from their stars to truly get 42 wins. Ultimately, it means Young will have to mature into a better player. He already is a talented player and an elite scorer. However, there are times when he struggles.
Young averaged 26.2 points per game with a 42.9 field goal shooting percentage during the regular season. However, he also shot 33.5 percent from beyond the arc. The Hawks would like to see him replace the numbers from the final four playoff games against the Celtics, when he averaged 33.7 points and 11.7 assists per game while also shooting 36 percent from the triples.
Murray is excellent but has the potential for so much more. Ultimately, he averaged 20.5 points and 6.1 assists per game. The Hawks believe there is more potential as they signed him to a $120 million extension. Meanwhile, Bogdan Bogdanovic returns after averaging 14 points per game while shooting 40.6 percent from the 3-point line. De'Andre Hunter averaged 15.4 points per game, which was his career best. Therefore, the Hawks hope the mid-range shooter can continue to improve. Clint Capela is a tower on defense and also averages 12 points and 11 rebounds per game.
The Hawks will win 42 games because all their stars will take the next step in their process and raise their games. Additionally, Snyder will have a good impact on them.
Why The Hawks Will Not Win 42 Games
Every year, the Hawks always have high aspirations. Then, every year, they manage to disappoint. Will this year be any different? It might be difficult for them since they do not have a legitimate power forward to rely on.
Collins is gone, and someone will have to replicate his performance. Significantly, Saddiq Bey and Jalen Johnson are the two options that the Hawks have. But both underperformed last season. Thus, it might not be the best fit. Bey averaged 11.6 points with 40 percent field goal shooting after joining the Hawks after the Detroit Pistons traded him. Likewise, Johnson struggled in a lot of his game. Johnson cannot shoot from beyond the arc, as he nailed only 29 percent of his long-range shots. Then, he struggled on the defensive side of the floor.
But the biggest factors always lie in the competition. Can the Hawks truly compete with the Heat, Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers, or New York Knicks? It was just a few seasons ago that the Hawks went into Madison Square Garden and took the Knicks down. Now, it seems the Knicks have surpassed them, and the Hawks have stayed the same. Can the Hawks beat the teams in their division? The Orlando Magic are improving, and the Charlotte Hornets are capable of being competitive.
The Hawks will not win 42 games because they lack the power forward to compete. Also, they are leagues below the elite competition in the Eastern Conference.
Final Hawks Over-Under Win Total Prediction & Pick for 2023
The Hawks are an average team. However, they might have enough to barely get 42 wins. Another 42-40 season seems likely.
Final Hawks Over-Under Win Total Prediction & Pick for 2023: Over 41.5: -122