Hawks Hope Howard Homecoming Will Be A Strong Catalyst
After yet another play-off defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Atlanta Hawks have certainly been actively addressing their roster in the hope of changing the fortunes of the team. It is apparent to many that this could well be the end of an era for the Hawks, and with the team somewhat stuck in a limbo, it remains to be seen just how big of an impact the departures of Al Horford and Jeff Teague will have. The two players had helped lead the team to its highest peaks, with many now wondering just how the Hawks can end their 58-year wait for an NBA title, the second longest in history.
The arrival of eight-time all star Dwight Howard from the Houston Rockets has been questioned by many within the game. However, the 30-year-old could well prove to be the catalyst in turning the Hawks from a solid Eastern Conference side into title contenders. Despite Howard struggling at times during his final year in Houston, a new team, number and City could well rejuvenate the center. The Hawks are currently rank outsiders for the 2016/17 NBA Championship at BettingSports, but they hope the arrival of Howard, as well as Malcolm Delaney among others, will change that.
With many still reeling from the loss of Horford, the new Boston Celtics man has denied claims that he departed the Hawks due to the arrival of Howard. While Horford’s stats may not have been what they once were, the experienced center had formed the basis of a solid defense, and the versatility that he and Paul Milsap provided were key to the Hawks’ successes. Although Atlanta will obviously miss Teague from their roster, the absence of Horford will certainly prove the bigger loss.
Kent Bazemore signed a four-year, $70 million contract to return to the Hawks recently, and faces a big season ahead, with the 27-year-old hoping to make the shooting guard position his own. Atlanta hosted homecoming events for both Howard and Bazemore over the last few weeks, with hundreds of fans gathering to meet the duo. Head Coach Mike Budenholzer remains in a confident mood ahead of the new season, stating that Howard’s 6’10”, 265-pound frame would be the perfect aid to both his team’s offensive and defensive strategies.