Atlanta Hawks 2021 NBA Win Total Odds & Pick: Can You Trust the Hawks After Big Offseason Moves?
Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce talks with Trae Young.
Hawks Win Total Odds
The Case for the Over
Atlanta’s roster is vastly improved, and you have to go back to last season to start evaluating it. The big move from last season was adding Clint Capela at the deadline. Adding a true rim protector is the first step in getting the Hawks to be a halfway decent defensive unit.
In the offseason, they added Bogdan Bogdanovic and Danilo Gallinari. Trae Young is a phenomenal engine for an offense. De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish both showed real flashes of being good defensive wings in time.
On the margins, the Hawks added Kris Dunn, one of the best defensive guards by most metrics, and Solomon Hill. They have shooting, they’ll defend better, they have a one-man engine like the best teams in the league do. They have the firepower for a playoff run.
The Case for the Under
What in God’s name are we doing here?
This team — this team — is jumping seventeen wins (per 82 games)? This team?
The Hawks had the third-worst defense in the NBA last season. With Trae Young on the floor, it was two points worse than that mark and eight points worse than when he was on the bench.
Young is probably the single worst defender in the NBA. Incredible offensive talent. Horrendous defender.
There’s a knock on Young that the way he plays directly is antithetical to winning basketball. I’m not sold on that concept, because there are a lot of revolutionary players you could have said the same thing about early on in their careers. However, to win with his approach, you have to have a high-end roster on both ends of the floor.
Gallinari’s defense waxes and wanes with his role and circumstance. He made noise before free agency about wanting to pursue a championship, which was his first and top goal. Then he signed with … a team that won less than 30% of their games last season.
Bogdanovic is great and was a value pick-up. Except the Hawks already had not only Gallinari but also Kevin Huerter. And Hunter. And Reddish. They’re stocked with wings and got … more wing players?
Capela was rough defensively last year, which was partly why he was dealt by the Rockets in their small-ball initiative. Capela will hopefully be more healthy this season, which will help a lot. When he gets banged up, his defensive performances start to really drop off because of how much his athleticism helps.
If Capela isn’t healthy, they have a major drop-off in size at the center position, which will create matchup issues.
The Hawks’ division isn’t a cakewalk, anymore. The Magic have been a playoff team and while everyone’s written them off, they’re well-coached and likely will be back in the play-in mix. The Heat went to the Finals, and the Wizards added Russell Westbrook, which is at least a bump up from last year.
Atlanta had the second-most double-digit losses last season. They weren’t a young, scrappy team who hung in. They got blasted more often than not.
Again, they’ll be better. But 17 wins per 82 games better? Am I on mescaline, what are we doing here?!
Atlanta Hawks Win Total Bet
I am not on mescaline. Take the under.