Will the Hawks be NBA’s worst team? Experts make their predictions

Taurean Prince (left), Dennis Schroder and coach Mike Budenholzer are key factors for Hawks this season. (AP Photo)

The NBA season starts tonight. The Hawks open at Dallas tomorrow. Here is a collection of season predictions for the Hawks.

FiveThirtyEight.com

Projected wins (rank): 26 (29th out of 30)

Notes: FiveThirtyEight’s predictions use 50,000 simulations based on its CARM-Elo ratings, a combination of CARMELO player projections and Elo team projections.

Kevin Pelton, ESPN.com (Insider)

Projected wins (rank): 28.3 (29th out of 30)

Notes: ESPN’s real plus-minus projects that the Kings will be a better team than the Hawks but win fewer games because of the relative strength of the West. Also of note is that two teams had lower RPM projections than the Hawks last season, so that system predicts the bad teams this year won’t be so awful.

USA Today

Projected wins (rank): 24 (30th out of 30)

Notes: USA Today calls its predictions “semi-scientific.” The voters are Sam Amick, Jeff Zillgitt, Michael Singer and AJ Neuharth-Keusch.

Fred Kerber, New York Post

Projected wins (rank): N/A (29th out of 30)

Notes: “Remember when the Hawks won 60 games and had four All-Stars? Remember when gas was 25 cents a gallon? Mike Budenholzer is a terrific coach but he doesn’t have a terrific team.”

Joe Cowley, Chicago Sun-Times

Projected wins (rank): N/A (27th out of 30)

Notes: Cowley focuses on the East race to the bottom, which he predicts the Bulls will win. “The bottom of the East looks like the G-League, starting with the Nets. They acquired D’Angelo Russell to build around and will roll him out with DeMarre Carroll and Jeremy Lin. Not to be outdone, the Hawks will march out point guard Dennis Schroder and hope that rookie big man John Collins continues to develop.”

SportsLine

Projected wins (rank): 32.1 (25th out of 30)

Notes: SportsLine’s system is more positive Hawks than any others I’ve seen. “SportsLine’s projection far exceeds the Vegas win total, but this is not a good team. If Taurean Prince and Dennis Schroder take big leaps forward they could be respectable, but the Hawks will still be one of the worst teams in the NBA.”

Ben Golliver, SI.com

Projected wins (rank): N/A (12th out of 15 in East)

Notes: “Does Mike Budenholzer’s ability to squeeze overachieving lemonade out of lemons make him the worst possible tank commander?

John Schuhmann, NBA.com

Projected wins (rank): N/A (29th out of 30)

Notes: It’s not really a season prediction but Schumann has the Hawks 29th in his power rankings. “It probably won’t be pretty, but maybe they can stay in some games with their defense.”

 

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