From Micah Hart's All Ball:
Last night Atlanta fell 107-101 in overtime at New Jersey, the team's third straight loss, and coming off the heels of Monday's 99-76 embarrassment courtesy of the Celtics, the picture looks bleak at present. Which is why I'm here today to say...everything is going to be cool, Atlanta.
Relax. Take a deep breath. Now take a look at the Eastern Conference standings. See that? You may be struggling, Hawks, but aside from Boston and Orlando, so is everyone else. At 8-7, you are still in 6th place in the East, and only a half-game out of third. No one else is playing particularly well - in fact the East as a whole (Boston aside) has been one big ball of underachieve.
Micah brings up a good point, and a fine contrast to the gloom I espoused on previously, which is if the Hawks can get it together, there is still plenty of room to move up the Eastern Conference standings.
It's a point echoed by SBNation Atlanta's Phil Foley:
The Atlanta Hawks may have been playing terrible basketball lately. Luckily, most of the rest of the Eastern Conference elite are doing exactly the same thing, except for the first-place Orlando Magic. After starting the season 6-0, Atlanta has dropped three straight and seven of their last nine en route to moving to just one game above the break even mark.
Yes, the Hawks have issues with chemistry. They have issues with sharing the basketball. They have issues with putting forth a consistent effort. But if they can somehow manage to get it together, all is not lost in the Southeast.
Sweet as it sounds, that's a lot of issues to overcome and, as nice as it is to see the sunny side of this season so far, this will not be the elixir for those who wish to participate in something greater than the first two rounds of the playoffs, but it serves as optimism just the same.