We continue our season predictions series with a look at which player will be this season's biggest surprise. Luckily for the Hawks, there are plenty of candidates.
Which Atlanta Hawks' player will be this season's biggest surprise?
(Josh Lane) I think Tim Hardaway Jr will be the biggest surprise since he is already the most talked about player of the offseason. If he does really well then this will be a surprise to not only those Knicks fans that have already written him off, but also to the Hawks fans that doubted him and his abilities. If he has a very bad season, then it will be a shock to those fans that have had faith in the front office and faith in the developmental staff.
(Mark Phelps) The surprise -- good or bad -- will have to come from the wing. All of the talk so far is about Hardaway and Holiday, but I think it will be Kent Bazemore who elevates his game to another level. Having spent time in Bud's system will make Bazemore the best option to soak up the minutes available from DeMarre Carroll's departure.
(Jason Walker) It's Thabo - and not because he wasn't good last year, he obviously was. The stats show how critical he was on/off court and what the Hawks were without him. He's a surprise because NOBODY seemed to recognize those stats or chose to ignore them. This season, without Carroll, they'll know, recognize and finally catch up to us on him.
(James Braswell) Edy "Bird Bird" Tavares. He is going to continue to develop and grow into the NBA-style of basketball. Hopefully we'll start seeing a trademark expression when he starts making Mutombo-esque blocks.
(Phil Naessens) Tiago Splitter is going to surprise some people this season. He brings so much to the table and much of that got lost during his time with the Spurs. He sets screens, he plays hard and with Horford shooting three's he will have more room to roam in the paint and he's going to score points for this team.
(Harry Lyles) I think if given the chance, Justin Holiday can be the biggest surprise, in a good way. He is a guy that can shoot the ball like a lot of his teammates, and he can also defend multiple positions. He hasn't had a lot of NBA experience, but in the short times that he has gotten playing time, he has proven himself to be an efficient talent. If he can string together a few good performances, it could go a long way. While some might not want to admit it, confidence goes a long way in a player's performance on the court.
(Brad Rowland) Kent Bazemore. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is raving about Bazemore's game when compared to last season, and the general public probably isn't prepared for just how much we will see of him on the floor. Make no mistake, Bazemore isn't a future star or anything approaching one, but he is set to make the leap as a legitimate starter-quality player in the NBA, and he will begin the season with the biggest workload as the team attempts to replace DeMarre Carroll.
(Kris Willis) Mike Scott was completely written off after losing his rotation spot to Mike Muscala in the playoffs last season. His subsequent offseason arrest further clouded his future in Atlanta. However, he has had a solid preseason and is looking again like the explosive bench scorer that this team needs. Scott will never be a defensive and may have to share playing time with Muscala, but he is going to play a much bigger part on this team than many are suggesting.
(Tyler Lewis) The biggest surprise in my opinion will be Tim Hardaway Jr. Since draft night when the Hawks traded out of their first round pick to acquire Hardaway, not many have been high on him. He didn't post very good stats last season for an atrocious Knicks team and has not looked great through the preseason. However, Hardaway is a young player who is still learning a very complicated offense. Much like Thabo Sefolosha last year, I believe Hardaway will struggle at the beginning of the season. When he finally figures things out though, hopefully around December or January, I believe he'll end the season as one of Atlanta's most productive players and a big spark plug off the bench.
(Patrick Laney) Kent Bazemore will finish 4th on the team in minutes and start the most games at small forward. His year in the system will give him an advantage over newcomers and the need to protect older starters will give him additional time.
What do you think? Vote in our poll below and let us know why in the comments.