Even in a worst (excluding a rash of season-ending injuries) case scenario I think this team will win more games than last year.
BEST CASE SCENARIO(S): Acie Law IV starts and is soon able to finish games.
WORST CASE SCENARIO(S): Acie Law IV takes a full year to adjust to the NBA. Tyronn Lue is bothered by his knee and plays poorly. Or, Tyronn Lue plays well, the Hawks hold on to him, the Hawks don't make the playoffs, and he leaves in the summer as a free agent. Speedy Claxton tries to play through his injuries. Anthony Johnson plays 20 minutes a night. Other teams realize that none of these guys are especially good defenders.
BEST CASE SCENARIO(S): Between Acie Law IV's solid point guard play and improved frontcourt scoring from Marvin Williams and Al Horford, Joe Johnson becomes a far more efficient offensive player. In fact, the Hawks' offense becomes multi-faceted enough that Johnson can backup the point guard position for short stretches in an emergency, thus freeing Salim Stoudamire to get some playing time as they cross-match defensively. Mario West develops into the new Ira Newble (of Ira Newble's useful years fame). Or, the Hawks sign Hassan Adams to replace Mario West on the roster.
WORST CASE SCENARIO(S): Joe Johnson's usage continues to slightly outpace his ability. Mike Woodson plays Ira Newble clone (of Ira Newble in Cleveland fame) Mario West as much as he played Royal Ivey. The Hawks play two of their point guards at the same time for extended periods of time. The Hawks sign Hassan Adams to replace Mario West on the roster. Three weeks later he and Stoudamire get into a fight at practice.
Things break down a bit here as the frontcourt positions are so fluid...
BEST CASE SCENARIO(S): Marvin Williams and Josh Childress split all the minutes at the position, each adding some minutes at power forward and two guard, respectively.
WORST CASE SCENARIO(S): Josh Smith shooting three-pointers. Joe Johnson playing alongside a miniature backcourt.
BEST CASE SCENARIO(S): Josh Smith develops post moves, forgoes (for the most part) jump shots. Shelden Williams continues to rebound while remembering how to block shots.
WORST CASE SCENARIO(S): Marvin Williams trying to defend the post. Solomon Jones trying to defend the post.
BEST CASE SCENARIO(S): Zaza Pachulia is healthy enough that between he and Al Horford, a minutes crunch emerges. A minutes crunch is eased as Pachulia and Horford show themselves quite adept at playing together. Shelden Williams and Solomon Jones develop choreographed in-game bench celebrations.
WORST CASE SCENARIO(S): Pachulia isn't healthy and Mike Woodson goes small a lot in the frontcourt or has Lorenzen Wright playing the minutes that should be Shelden Williams's as everyone moves up a slot in the rotation. Lorenzen Wright declines Shelden Williams and Solomon Jones's invitation to participate in choreographed in-game bench celebrations.
My preferred rotation
PG Law IV
SF M Williams
6 Childress for M Williams unless Johnson's in early foul trouble
7 Pachulia for Smith or Horford
8 Lue for Law IV
(at which point, M Williams back in for one of Johnson/Smith/Horford)
9 S Williams for remaining Smith/Horford
10 Stoudamire/West for Johnson depending on matchup
11 Solomon Jones for dunks/blocks/sublimity in the dog minutes of an NBA schedule
12 Stoudamire/West for shot attempts/hustle or Claxton for rehab experimentation
In street clothes...Lorenzen Wright, Anthony Johnson, and Speedy Claxton (in his case, sad, but likely)