Fight the Power
15 (9) Hawks 7-4 Bizarre coincidence or something more telling? The Hawks are the only team in league history to win their first six games and then lose the next four ... and now they've done it twice in the past three seasons.
RAT REC MAR SOS REC (L10) MAR (L10) SOS (L10) STRK H/A DIV CONF PREV RK PREV RAT 15 101.122 8-4 +3.33 .430 6-4 +2.20 .462 Won 2 6/6 2nd 4th 16 99.896
5. Atlanta Hawks: Record - 7-4
Last Week's Ranking: 4, SB Nation Blog: Peachtree Hoops
They had a terrible week, going 1-3, but they're still the same old Hawks team that we've always known. They still have strong wings, and they still make some awesome dunks. But they are still dealing with the same old problems. They don't have anything resembling post defense, their three-point shooting still needs some work and their ability to get second-chance possessions still leave something to be desired. They'll continue to hover around the middle of the East for the rest of the season.
Last Week: 9 Atlanta Hawks (7-4)Joe Johnson is the marquee star with the max contract and Josh Smith fills the highlight reels, but the longer you watch the Hawks play, the more you realize that Al Horford is their stealth MVP. The undersized center is shooting a league-best 64.2 percent from the field and a career-high 82.5 percent from the line, and he has increased his assist rate while reducing his turnovers. The team-oriented statistics are equally impressive: According to 82games.com, the Hawks are once again scoring about five points more per 100 possessions and allowing five points fewer per 100 possessions with Horford on the court compared to when he sits.
9 Atlanta (7-4)
Pace: 94.2 (21), Off: 108.8 (4), Def: 104.6 (17)
After losing four straight, the Hawks will happily take a narrow win over the Timberwolves and the 39 free throws that came with it on Sunday, because they didn't shoot or defend particularly well. After five games in eight days, they have just two over the next seven.
4 13 (-1) 11/14 Needed to see Minnesota to break a four-game losing streak that quickly erased good vibes earned in 6-0 start. The difference? The level of competition greatly increased and the defense faltered. Big ones with Dallas and Boston lie ahead.
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