NBA Power Rankings: Hawks drop to No. 18 in SB Nation Week 3 Power Rankings

Craig Mitchelldyer-US PRESSWIRE

Atlanta Hawks will continue to drop in the charts if they can't close games against superior teams such as the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers. The slow start also won't help head coach Larry Drew's job security, who happens to be in the last year of his deal.

The Atlanta Hawks, now 3-3, are still trying to figure things out, dropping games to standout teams such as the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers, but they are winning the contests they should take. Unlike last week, the Hawks are evenly placed throughout the national power rankings.

SB Nation's Seth Rosenthal dropped the Hawks from No. 6 last week to No. 18 this week, mostly due to technicalities.

18
Atlanta Hawks
2-3
W: IND; L: MIA, LAC
Peachtree Hoops
Larry Drew's team is having an understandably difficult time choosing a lineup he likes post-Joe Johnson. No matter the unit, the offense has been fairly effective despite not getting nearly enough looks at the rim or trips to the free throw line for a team with a decent mix of floor-spreaders and interior finishers. That may just be a matter of chemistry at this point.

John Schumann of NBA.com also notched the Hawks a few spots lower than last week, dropping them from No. 10 to No. 15. Schumann explains his reasoning for Atlanta's recent string of losses with their inability to get to the free throw line and, most importantly, knock down those shots.

Atlanta (2-3)
Pace: 93.8 (23), OffRtg: 98.6 (17), DefRtg: 100.6 (21)
One way the Hawks could make up for the loss of Joe Johnson offensively was by parading to the free throw line more often, not one of Johnson's strengths. Lou Williams (18 attempts) has done his part in that regard, but Atlanta ranks 29th in free throw rate and 28th in free throw percentage. Al Horford has just nine attempts in five games and Josh Smith is a Biedrins-esque 2-for-14.

ESPN.com's Marc Stein dropped Atlanta four spots to No. 12 after their tough week. General manager Danny Ferry had a close relationship with Mike Brown in Cleveland and the rumors won't stop anytime soon on when Ferry wants to move from current coach Larry Drew to Brown.

The Lakers' coaching change probably affects Atlanta more than any other team in the East. Reason being: No matter how many times Danny Ferry insists he's not in a rush to bring in Mike Brown as his next coach or trade Josh Smith for Pau Gasol, speculation will surely keep coming up.

Sitting at .500, the speculation will only continue to swirl that Drew will be out of Atlanta in no time. Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk.com actually bumped the Hawks up from No. 22 last week to No. 17 this week.

Larry Drew's seat could start to get warm in Atlanta after a slow start. And GM Danny Ferry doesn't hesitate to make moves. And Ferry's old coach in Cleveland Mike Brown is suddenly available. Not saying anything, just listing some coincidences.

For more on the Atlanta Hawks check out SB Nation Atlanta, along with Peachtree Hoops on Twitter and check out the Peachtree Hoops Facebook Fan Page.

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