NBA Power Rankings: Hawks trending upward in latest SB Nation rankings

Kevin C. Cox

The Atlanta Hawks jump up eight spots in this week's SB Nation NBA Power Rankings.

There are two reoccurring themes in this week's power ranking roundup for the Atlanta Hawks. The first thing is that while everyone had the Hawks moving up the rankings they were quick to point out that four of the wins came against the Kings, Magic, Wizards and Bobcats. However, everyone was also in agreement that Saturday's win over the Clippers was impressive.

It was also pointed out repeatedly that the Hawks have now climbed to No. 1 in the league in defensive efficiency. The Hawks have allowed 100 points to an opponent twice this season. The first came in the season opening loss to the Rockets and the other came in Wednesday's overtime win against the Wizards. Much was made this past offseason about this team's desire to play up tempo and most figured that it would likely negatively affect their team defense. Thus far that simply hasn't been the case.

The Hawks jump up eight spots to No. 8 in this week's SB Nation NBA Power Rankings:


8
Atlanta Hawks 8-4 16 W: ORL, WAS, @CHA, LAC Peachtree Hoops
The foundation of Atlanta's win streak was built from pretty weak competition, but that lockdown win over the Clippers makes a lovely capstone. And that's not to call the win streak at five, either, because they've got a relatively winnable schedule this week before a tough road trip with stops in Memphis and Miami. They've also got what is, as of right now, the most efficient defense in the NBA. That is a good thing to have.

Atlanta is also up two spots to No. 7 in Marc Stein's ESPN Power Rankings:

The Hawks have risen to No. 1 in the league in defensive efficiency. And they likewise climb in our top 10, in spite of a mostly soft schedule, thanks to a home win over the Clips that -- even with L.A. on the second night of a back-to-back -- still looks pretty nice beside Atlanta's recent W at OKC.

John Schuhmann also bumps the Hawks up six spots this week to No. 7 of NBA.com's weekly Power Rankings:

Atlanta (8-4)
Pace: 95.4 (10), OffRtg: 99.1 (21), DefRtg: 95.6 (1)
When you beat the Kings, Magic, Wizards and Bobcats, your four-game winning streak is a little hollow. But when you extend it to five with an easy win over the Clippers, we take notice. The streak has vaulted the Hawks to the No. 1 spot in defensive efficiency, and they should stay there with only home games against the Cats and Cavs on the schedule over the next nine days.

The Hawks check in at No. 10 in John Hollinger's daily power rankings over at ESPN.com

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