On the latest episode of Open Floor, Rohan and Chris begin by discussing the early returns of Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, and Dejounte Murray trades from the summer. Which team is best positioned to go further in the playoffs than last season? They discuss Atlanta’s chances.
The following transcript is an excerpt from The Crossover NBA podcast. Listen to the full episode on podcast players everywhere or on SI.com.
Rohan Nadkarni: Last year, first-round exit for the Hawks. If I had to put you on the spot right now, are you confident they can make it further than they made it last year?
Chris Herring: No, I’m not. Look, Trae Young will shoot better at some point. I’m not worried about that. John Collins almost has to …
Nadkarni: It makes no sense. I mean, he’s missing the looks that he’s got in his entire career.
Herring: He’ll be better at some point if they keep him. That’s a different conversation. You would hope that Bogdanovic will be healthy now that he is back. It’s gotten weird with Hunter … whether he’ll be healthy or not, whether he’ll be solid or not.
Nadkarni: I’ll never leave Deandre Hunter Island.
Herring: I tend to want to be that way, too. I think my bigger thing is just like, at this point, I don’t necessarily expect all of them to put it together at once. Not to even mention Dejounte Murray.
They have enough talent to get it done, they certainly could get it done. I just don’t know that I’m more confident that they will get it done than I am pessimistic about that. I don’t know that it’s a great fit between Trae and Dejounte. And I think to that point, I don’t think if they’re so good that I would pencil them in for the second round is all I’m saying.
And, obviously the start of this season, unless you feel like all of this has been a really bad regression and that they’re going to progress to something, I don’t see reason to think that they’re gonna for sure be in the second round. What would you say to that?
Nadkarni: I have a hard time believing it now. Once again, the standings are still completely in flux here. There’s a huge bunch up basically from four to 10 in the East. All these teams are kind of one run away. I think Brooklyn has looked better generally. And I think Ben Simmons before he got hurt was starting to play better as well. I think Indiana will fall off. I think Toronto’s dealt with a lot of injuries this year. I might like Toronto more than Atlanta, frankly.
So, I don’t see it. And I don’t know if that’s me being self-serving. ‘Cause I wasn’t a huge fan of the fit of this trade. I didn’t like them dumping Kevin Huerter. I’m just not getting good vibes from Trae Young. But I have a hard time believing them getting out of the first round.