The Atlanta Hawks are 1-1 on the early season after losing to the James Harden-led Houston Rockets on opening night and upsetting the Oklahoma City Thunder on the road. With the first week of the season in the books, the Hawks vary across the board in national power rankings. SB Nation's Seth Rosenthal starts the Hawks off at No. 6 thanks to Al Horford's big game against OKC.
|6||Atlanta Hawks||1-1||W: OKC; L: HOU||Peachtree Hoops|
|Al Horford has risen, and the Hawks looked a lot better when they featured him against the Thunder. It'll be important to keep him fed inside once Josh Smith is back on the floor.|
Atlanta jumps up five spots to No. 10 in John Schuhmann's rankings at NBA.com. Schuhmann notes that the Hawks win without Josh Smith was the biggest by a team last week.
Pace: 96.2 (16), Off: 108.8 (5), Def: 104.4 (23)
Atlanta's win in Oklahoma City on Sunday without Josh Smith was clearly the most impressive victory by any team last week. Al Horford had the big numbers, Lou Williams sparked the big run, DeShawn Stevenson hit the big shot, and Jeff Teague threw down the big dunk. If they didn't win that one, it might have been an ugly start for the Hawks, who face the Pacers, Heat and Clippers this week.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com also moved the Hawks up five spots, from No. 13 to No. 8. Stein writes that he hasn't bought into Atlanta's upset of the Thunder nor their home loss to the Rockets.
The opener was bizarre: Atlanta surrendered 45 points at home to James Harden and lost Josh Smith to an ankle sprain in the process. The response made about as much sense: Jeff Teague soaring over Durant for a top-shelf dunk and the Josh-less Hawks winning in OKC.
Despite the big win in Oklahoma City, the Hawks jumped only one spot in Marc Spear's Yahoo.com power rankings up to No. 15. With no mention of their tumultuous week, Spears notes the tough match ups Atlanta has ahead of it.
15. Atlanta Hawks (1-1, previous ranking: 16th): Tough week with games against Indiana and Miami.
Over at ProBasketballTalk.com, Kurt Helin actually bumped the Hawks down from No. 15 to No. 22. Helin doesn't give a specific mention of why he dropped Atlanta, but notes that they have a tough week ahead.
22. Hawks (1-1, LW 15). Jeff Teague looked good in the first week, and not only when dunking on Durant — 15 points and 6 assists per game, shooting 59 percent. Tough week ahead for the Hawks with the Pacers, Heat and Clippers on the schedule.