It has become a tradition at Peachtree Hoops for our staff to give our predictions for the Atlanta Hawks' upcoming season sometime before opening day. Over the years, our staff has grown and we decided to go all out for this year's predictions. This article is the first of four in a series that will go up on the site today so be sure to check in throughout the day.
Who will be the Hawks best player this season?
(Josh Lane) Al Horford gets my vote since we should see him all over the court this year since he has added the three ball to his arsenal and will alternate between PF and Center with the addition of Splitter. Oh yeah and he is in a contract year so that should add some extra fire to him going into the season.
(Mark Phelps) Same as it always is. Al Horford will have a newfound 3-ball added to his arsenal as well as the banging of Tiago Splitter to take some of the load off of his back. Expect nothing but greatness from the Boss in 2015-16.
(Jason Walker) Al Horford - Boss. His game continues to elevate and the team is looking to him often as a top option. Defensively, having Splitter backing him up is only going to help the overall defensive effort, of which I am totally in favor.
(Kris Willis) I really wanted to go with Paul Millsap but I just can't see how it can be anyone but Al Horford. He is two seasons removed from his pectoral injury and was able to spend the summer working out instead of rehabbing an injury. This will be his second full season in Budenholzer's system and oh by the way, it is a contract year. Horford has been Atlanta's best player for some time now and I don't expect this season to be any different.
(James Braswell) Al Horford. He's the overall leader of this team. Hope to see him drive towards the rim and to continue his development on his mid-range jumper.
(Phil Naessens) Paul Millsap is going to be the best player on this team. His contract stuff is over, he has his money and the pressure is off. He could have gone a lot of different places but he chose to remain in Atlanta and this is his time to really shine.
(Harry Lyles) I believe the Hawks best player this season will be Al Horford. I think he will benefit the most from the acquisitions the Hawks made this offseason, most notably in Tiago Splitter. I think at times the Hawks might have felt the need to keep Al in games because of a lack of a formidable backup, and I think everyone should feel more confident in knowing that Tiago Splitter is the next man up.
(Brad Rowland) Al Horford. It has been very nice to see the national media jumping on board with guys like Paul Millsap (who some see as a legitimate star now) and Jeff Teague, but Horford is still the best player on the roster. For me, he's a top-15 overall player in the NBA, and while the nature of his game does not lend itself to massive statistics, Horford's impact is immeasurable for Atlanta on both ends. He's the one player on the roster who is truly irreplaceable.
(Tyler Lewis) I'm going with Al Horford. What with his recent injury problems over the last few years, this summer has been his first offseason in which he really had an opportunity to work on his game and fully gear up for the coming season. He's also added a full three point shot, which not only should impact his production, but also increase the floor spacing and make him an even more deadly player with and without the ball.
(Patrick Laney) Al Horford is a full season removed from injury, has developed chemistry with front line partner Paul Millsap, and will have a legitimate two-way big in Tiago Splitter to ease his burden when Millsap leaves the floor. Coming off the run to the Eastern Conference Finals, 2015-16 is set up to be the peak season of Horford's career to set him up for a huge max contract this summer.