To kick off the second hour of the Jon Chuckery show, Jon kicks things off by talking about the new look Atlanta Hawks. He starts the segment off by talking about how a lot of blogs, outlets, and articles put the Hawks on top of their free agency winners and losers pieces as big winners, and one of if not the most improved team coming out of the offseason. Also, Chuck touched on some betting lines out there on the Atlanta Hawks record. Betonline.com have the Hawks at thirty-three and a half wins, Draft kings have the Hawks at thirty-four wins, William Hill have the Hawks winning thirty-five and a half games this season, and the Westgate sports book in Las Vegas have the Atlanta Hawks actually finishing a little over .500 at thirty-six and a half wins. This got Jon thinking if the Hawks will finish over .500, and this discussion kicked off hour two.
While Chuckery believes “that’s a pretty good jump” when it comes to the Hawks going from a 20-47 team to a 36-36 team he also says “I need them to be a .500 team”, and Chuck also says “36-36 is a record that much below that should be a disappointment.” Chuckery then goes to talk about how general manager of the Hawks, Travis Schlenk, did a great job spending money wisely, and giving coach Lloyd Piece a good team. This point brings Chuck to say “I believe if the Hawks don’t make the playoffs then there is a realistic chance that Lloyd Pierce won’t be back next season.” Chuck also says “33-39 would be a disappointment for this team.” Jon goes on to say “they have a deep roster” and “this is a flexible roster”, so there’s no reason the Hawks shouldn’t play themselves into a playoff spot this year. Jon would go on to talk to NBA.com’s Sekou Smith, also host of the Hangtime Podcast, who agreed with Chuckery that this team needs to be .500 or better to clear that play in tournament range and secure a traditional playoff spot.
With the additions of Bogdan Bogdanovic, Danilo Gallinari, Kris Dunn, Rajon Rondo, trading for Tony Snell, and drafting Onyeka Onkongwu and Skylar Mays this Atlanta Hawks team is a team that finally has some other big time wing and backcourt scoring besides Trae Young with Bogdanovic and Gallinari, some really good defenders in Kris Dunn and Tony Snell, rim protecting and shot blocking with Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu, young guys still coming into their own with John Collins, Cam Reddish, Kevin Huerter, and Deandre Hunter, and a veteran leader with championship experience in Rajon Rondo who will help lead, develop, and groom these young Atlanta Hawks players such as John Collins, Cam Reddish, Kevin Huerter, Deandre Hunter, and of course Trae Young. The Atlanta Hawks have the components to be a .500 team. The Atlanta Hawks have the components to be a playoff team. Now, the question is can Lloyd Pierce, Trae Young, John Collins, and the rest of the team come together and get the Atlanta Hawks to the playoffs for the first time in three years.