If you missed Part 1 in our season predictions series then go take a look here. Otherwise lets get right to it.
Who will be the Hawks best player this season?
(Jason Walker) Al Horford will play (almost) a full season and will, by the end of the season, be back to where he was before his second pectoral injury shelved him last season, which was on his way to a third all-star season and career highs in all the counting and analytical stats.
(Brad Rowland) Al Horford. I'm on record with saying that Horford is a top-20 player in the league by any calculation, and I stand by that. There may be a bit of rust early in the year, but once he is able to trust his body again, we will be looking at 18 points and 10 rebounds per night with elite-level defense, and that is a beautiful thing.
(Kris Willis) Paul Millsap certainly deserves mention here but this is without a doubt Al Horford's team and he will once again be their best player at both ends of the floor.
(Patrick Laney aka RedRev) Al Horford, the best two-way center in the Eastern Conference.
(Josh Lane aka Throw) If Al Horford returns to form, he is easily the team MVP for me.
(Daniel Christian) Assuming he stays healthy, Al Horford. As always.
The best offseason acquisition will turn out to be?
(JW) Thabo Sefolosha will be the Hawks' Bruce Bowen this season; a guy at a veteran crossroads in career that re-defines his value in being a top notch defender and long range sniper.
(BR) Thabo Sefolosha. The Hawks were in dire need of a lengthy defender off the bench to spell DeMarre Carroll, and Sefolosha fits perfectly. I fully expect his shooting to return to "normal" following a sizable dip last season, and Sefolosha is likely to finish the season with more minutes than any other bench player.
(KW) Kent Bazemore got off to a bit of a slow start in the preseason but he has the tools to be this season's DeMarre Carroll as a player who makes the most of his first real opportunity for consistent playing time.
(PL) Sefolosha for reasons stated earlier.
(JL) There was a time when Thabo Sefolosha was being criticized for being brought in, but so far in the preseason he has been an absolute shock to me with how he looks. With being forced to play in a limited role in Oklahoma City, I was led to believe that he could not pass or handle the ball. I was so wrong and it is great to see that we have someone that can provide defense off the bench and also not be a huge liability on the offensive end.
(DC) Thabo Sefolosha. He'll be DeMarre Carroll's adored back-up, an energetic three-and-D guy.
I predict the Hawks record and final nesting place this season will be?
(JW) Given all these wonderful things, I say the Hawks are headed for a nine game improvement, which is a 47 win season and yet another trip to the playoffs, where they will win a series and give the second round opponent all they can handle.
(BR) 48-34, fourth in the Eastern Conference.
(KW) I predicted 44 wins last season and without the injury to Al Horford I think the Hawks would have surpassed that. I feel even better about this year's team and predict a 48 win season and a fourth place finish in the Eastern Conference. With home court advantage they will advance past the first round before giving Chicago all they want in six or seven game East semis.
(PL) 49-33 with assumption that Atlanta is better prepared to absorb the non-Horford injuries that derailed a good season last year. Hawks go to at least a game 7 in the second round of the playoffs.
(JL) Gotta say if this team stays healthy 48-32. The depth to this roster is just simply amazing and the best that I have seen in my years as a Hawks fan, but it will take a while for Horford to make a full return. Hopefully he will be back 100% soon so this team can be clicking on all cylinders.
(DC) The Hawks will go 46-36 and lose in a close, six or seven game second round series