For the tenth straight season, the Hawks made the playoffs and did very little once they got there. This was as up and down, bipolar, and flatout crazy season as we have ever seen. It included some great wins and some terrible losses.
The Hawks made it to the playoffs with three first time starters, Schroder, Hardaway, and Prince, a center in his first year with the organization, and just one all star reserve. Once they made it they pushed the Beal-Wall duo, often called the best backcourt in the NBA, to a hard fought six game series. On the way to the playoffs the Hawks won the season series against one seeded Boston and former Atlanta center Al Horford. They also won a game against the Spurs and two games against LeBron and the Cavaliers. Atlanta split the season series against triple double machine Russell Westbrook and barely lost two close games against superteam Golden State. This team also beat the Raptors in two out of three matchups, and swept James Harden’s Rockets.
image courtesy of AJC
The Hawks came back from twenty down to beat the Greek Freak and the Bucks and from ten down with two minutes to go to beat the Bulls. They came back from twenty down in the fourth quarter on the road to defeat Houston, and who can forget the twenty-six point comeback against the Cavaliers, the 15th largest comeback in NBA history and the second largest in Hawks history.
The 2016-17 season was extremely frustrating. The Hawks beat lots of good teams, then immediately turned around and lost to most of the worst teams in the NBA. They started the season 9-2, then went 1-10, then went on a dominant seven game win streak. Whenever Hawk’s fans began to be happy with this team they would crush everyones spirits, and whenever fans were down on them they would turn around and make us believe in them again. Lots of people will call this season disappointing, but what were they expecting with a starting lineup that had seldom ever played together. Kent Bazemore and Millsap were the only ones who were starting for the Hawks last year, and Baze was taken out of the starting lineup by the playoffs.
There are a lot of questions heading into the offseason, the main one of course being: should the Hawks re-sign Millsap? A lot is riding on this virtually unanswerable question, possibly the fate of the franchise. This however is a topic that a whole other article can be written about, and still no perfect solution will be reached. If they keep him, year two of this team will be much more successful than year one.
Featured Image: USA Today