ESPN Makes It's Predictions – High On Hawks
Hmmm. This is sort of a weird place to be. I’m so used to writing this time of year to tell you why I think the Hawks will be good despite what national prognosticators have to say on the subject. Last year, for example, most observers had Atlanta out of the playoffs.
This year however, based on the success of the postseason and the terrific offseason Rick Sund and his staff have put together, there is a lot more optimism out there about our hometown heroes.
ESPN’s basketball staff is in the middle of some off-season predictions about the upcoming 2009-10 season, and wouldn’t you know it, they are high on the Hawks:
“ESPN’s panelists like the Hawks as the Beasts of the Rest in the East once again, expecting the additions of Jamal Crawford and Joe Smith to keep them in the No. 4 slot. If our Eastern Conference prognostications are accurate, the Hawks will again host the Miami Heat in Game 1 of Round 1 when the playoffs begin next April.”
The perception as of now seems to be that there is still a clear pecking order at the top of the Eastern Conference with Cleveland, Boston, and Orlando, but that the Hawks are at the top of the list of teams looking to break up that hegemony.
As the season draws closer, we’ll take a closer look at the teams in the East to see if the current pecking order is still intact.