NBA Standings: Hawks close to a lock for postseason

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta salvages the final game of their west coast road trip and still have a healthy lead for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Atlanta Hawks got up off the deck Monday night as they defeated the Utah Jazz 112-110 to salvage one game on the five-game west coast swing. The Hawks left Atlanta with a 3.5 game lead over the Detroit Pistons and despite going 1-4 they return to Atlanta with an identical 3.5 game lead this time over the Knicks and the Pistons.

ESPN.com's Kevin Pelton took a look at some of the close races in the NBA's playoff picture including the battle (for lack of a better word) for the eighth spot. Here is what he had to say:

Projections: Atlanta Hawks: 92 percent; New York Knicks: 7 percent

The Hawks have lost 14 of their past 15 games, making this question worth asking, but their playoff spot should still be safe. Atlanta's true talent still is judged that of a 36-win team, as good as the Knicks and better than both the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers and Detroit Pistons. Plus, three games is a lot to make up in such a short span. In fact, with Paul Millsap back, the Hawks remain more likely to finish seventh in simulations (41 percent of the time) than out of the playoffs.

Here is a look at the current standings:

Team W L GB
6. Brooklyn Nets 32 30 13.5
7. Charlotte Bobcats 30 34 16.5
8. Atlanta Hawks 27 35 18.5
9. New York Knicks 25 40 22.0
10. Detroit Pistons 24 39 22.0
11. Cleveland Cavaliers 24 40 22.5

Detroit has lost three straight and Cleveland four and both have difficult schedules coming up. New York has won four straight to climb into the conversation much to the approval of Mike Woodson:

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(Gif credit to Posting and Toasting user Ruka35)

With the road trip finally over here is a look at Atlanta's upcoming schedule:

Date Opponent Time TV
March 13 vs Milwaukee 7:30 pm SportSouth
March 15 vs Denver 7:30 pm SportSouth
March 17 @ Charlotte 7:00 pm SportSouth
March 18 vs Toronto 7:30 pm SportSouth
March 21 vs New Orleans 7:30 pm SportSouth

Finally a look at the relevant games for Tuesday and Wednesday

Tuesday, March 11

Sacramento vs Detroit 7:30 p.m. League Pass

Wednesday, March 12

Brooklyn vs Miami 7:00 p.m. ESPN
Detroit vs Toronto 7:00 p.m. League Pass
Charlotte vs Washington 7:00 p.m. League Pass
New York vs Boston 7:30 p.m. League Pass
Cleveland vs Phoenix 10:00 p.m. League Pass

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