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2022-23 NBA Preview: Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks are entering win-now territory entering the 2022-23 season, this after acquiring All-Star guard Dejounte Murray in the offseason, Atlanta has its goals set higher than simply making the playoffs. Instead, the Hawks have their sights squarely set on the title

The roster is rounding into form. Atlanta has one of the NBA’s best backcourts with two-time All-Star point guard Trae Young and Murray. In the front-court, John Collins (16.2 points per game last season) provides the scoring production, while center Clint Capela is a great rebounder and solid protector of the rim. There’s an exceptional starting five here, but to get to the next level, role players must do their jobs.

Atlanta Hawks' guard Trae Young reacts
Giuseppe Cacace / AFP

Let’s check the latest NBA picks, stats, injury reports, and NBA predictions. We’ve plenty of NBA expert picks for you to consider.

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Atlanta Hawks Odds

  • To win NBA championship +5000
  • To win Eastern Conference +2200
  • To win Southeast Division +155
  • To make playoffs Yes -275/ No +215

Player to Watch

This one’s rather obvious, duh. Young is the cornerstone of the franchise. The Oklahoma product has changed the Hawks. Atlanta has built around its superstar point guard’s shooting and playmaking. Young is poised to have a huge season in 2022-23, while his surrounding cast is the best he has seen.

Young averaged 28.4 points (9.7 assists) last season, 46% field-goal percentage (38.2% on 3-pointers). He did lead the association in assists (737), and finished sixth in 3-pointers made (233). Young’s fifth choice (+800) to lead the NBA in points per game, and the sixth choice (+1000) in assists/game. Young will likely earn All-NBA honors a second consecutive season.

Player to Watch: Trae Young

Breakout Player

As was mentioned, role players could decide the Hawks’ fate. Second-year forward Jalen Johnson will be an X-factor. In his rookie season, Johnson didn’t contribute as Atlanta had hoped. The No. 20 pick of the 2021 draft appeared in only 22 games, 5.5 minutes per game. Of course, his averages (2.4 points, 1.2 rebounds) were low with limited time.

Johnson must make an impact this season. If not, his roster spot could be in peril with another poor season. Atlanta needs more depth, especially in the front-court. At 6-foot-8, with a 6-foot-11 wingspan, Johnson has the tools to become a solid contributor off the bench. The ex-Duke Blue Devil was advertised as a great athlete, good rebounder and surprising playmaker coming out of Durham. Now, that assessment needs to come to fruition.

Breakout Watch: Jalen Johnson

Atlanta Hawks’ Outlook

Atlanta is in a tough spot. This team is ready to contend, anything less than one playoff series win disappoints everyone. However, the Eastern Conference is a slugfest, as not only did the Hawks bolster their roster, but so did the Cleveland Cavaliers with the addition of Donovan Mitchell. Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets may be a dysfunctional lot, but they are healthy. The Toronto Raptors are improving, while the Detroit Pistons are inching closer to respectability.

So, missing the postseason would be a huge failure here. Winning one playoff series would be decent, but actually envisioning this team as a title contender is not realistic.

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