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Atlanta Hawks head coach Larry Drew second from right talks with guard Anthony Morrow 22 forward Josh Smith and guard Louis Williams 3 during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat Sunday Oct. 7 2012 in Atlanta. The Hawks won 92 79. AP Photo Todd Kirkland

The Atlanta Hawks: contender, pretender, or mystery object behind door number three? (which of course, is always terrible)

As the beginning of the 2012-13 season nears (which for the Hawks, is Nov. 2nd against Houston), we thought it was time that we here at HawksHoop released our predictions for the Atlanta Hawks’ ceiling, floor, and our predictions for the season.

1. What is the ceiling for the Hawks this season?

Jerold Wells, HawksHoop: For a ceiling I’d say these Atlanta Hawks could overachieve at a 55 win clip. An uptempo team featuring guards that can score, bigs that will outrun most 4s and 5s and a coach willing to put the ball in his best player’s hands with a “go win the game” imperative could turn into something special.

Bo Churney, HawksHoop: I don’t think this team is any worse than the Joe Johnson teams, which seemingly hit its ceiling in the 09-10 season with 53 victories. With the logjam of teams “meh” teams behind Miami, 53 wins could be good enough for 2nd in the East. However, I think this happens if, and only if, Josh Smith and Al Horford both play like All-Stars this year.

Nubyjas Wilborn, HawksHoop: I know Bradford Doolittle of Basketball Prospectus predicted the Hawks as the 2nd best team in the East. That is a bit too rich for my blood. I believe the ceiling for the Hawks is the 4th seed. Heat, Celtics, & Pacers in my opinion are all better than the Hawks. But I do believe the Hawks can be in the mix with the Rose-less Bulls, questionable Knicks, uncertain Nets and oft-injured Bucks.

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