When the Hawks started 6-0, folks started remembering that the Hawks probably weren't the barely above .500, back of the playoff rack that many predicted for them. The lack of spontaneous combustion of the roster was seen as a weakness, not a strength, as the season began.
After back to back close losses to the two less stinky teams on the docket thus far, Basketbawful, who was featured in the Top 20 basketball blogs post over the weekend, channels their inner Dennis Green:
I hope the Dirty Birds enjoyed that 6-0 start and all those "Don't forget about the Hawks!" stories that were so popular for a week or so. You'd think people would have wised up to Atlanta's act by now. They usually pound lousy teams during soft stretches, maybe win a close game or two against a legit opponents. But in the final analysis, they are -- at best -- a second tier team.
To wit: After opening the season with six straight wins over "meh" teams, they've now lost two in a row against decent ones. Go figure.
I don't believe any Bird Watcher who saw that 6-0 start began having delusions of championship grandeur, rather most commenters agreed that, until the Hawks start playing the type of basketball needed to be teams like Orlando, it's hard to get excited about a fast start.
It remains to be seen whether the Hawks will surpass the plateau they designed for themselves under Mike Woodson, but such results won't be judged until they do/don't break the glass ceiling that has haunted this team since its move to Atlanta over (40) years ago.
Until then, it's no sin to be a 50+ win team that plays really good basketball, beats the teams it should beat, and competes/wins in some of the games against better teams. We want more, but enjoy what there is while we continue to hope. There's a balance there.
And while a 4 point loss in Orlando isn't a moral victory of any sort, it also shouldn't qualify as a Worst of the Night, unless of course, the mere existence of a team that plays good basketball but not at a championship caliber level makes your collective skin crawl--which, in that case, the lack of upset could qualify.
Exit Question: The other side of the question coin from the Instant Reaction post----Does the loss to Orlando automatically relegate this team to its usual status as best of the rest?