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The 2021-22 NBA season was a disappointment for the Atlanta Hawks. Less than a year after their magical 2021 Playoffs run, the team was eliminated in embarrassing fashion by the Miami Heat.

Unfortunately, it was more than just one bad series. Injuries and inconsistent play dogged the team throughout the season. Immediately after the season ended, Atlanta's front office promised change, and they delivered.

Now with an improved roster from top to bottom, the Hawks have caught the attention of NBA analysts. Yesterday, ESPN released its projections for the 2022-23 NBA season. 

According to ESPN's NBA analysts, the Hawks are projected to finish next season with a record of 46-36. That is three wins better than last season when the Hawks went 43-39 and had to win two games in the Eastern Conference Play-In Tournament just to make the Playoffs.

In addition to regular season records, ESPN also projected conference playoff seedings. The Boston Celtics come in at the top, followed by the Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, and Toronto Raptors. Finally, the Hawks come in at the 6-seed. 

Trae Young dribbles past Dejounte Murray.

Trae Young dribbles past Dejounte Murray during the 2021-22 NBA season.

If the Hawks finish 6th in the Eastern Conference, that narrowly avoids the dreaded Play-In Tournament. However, they would have to face their old foe, the 76ers, in the first round of the Playoffs.

The winner of the hypothetical series between the Hawks and 76ers would face the 1-seed, who in this scenario is the Celtics. At the end of the day, this is all theoretical. Games are won on the hardwood, not paper.

While Hawks fans would prefer the Hawks at least capture home-court advantage in the first round of the Playoffs, this way-too-early projection is not bad. Just last week, ranked the Hawks much lower in their offseason power rankings. Stay locked into for breaking news, highlights, and analysis.

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