After losing 14 of 15, the Atlanta Hawks have won three straight games and maintain a 3.5 game lead over the New York Knicks for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks have won six straight but are five back in the loss column. Here is a look at the standings entering Sunday:
|6. Brooklyn Nets||33||31||15.0|
|7. Charlotte Bobcats||32||34||17.0|
|8. Atlanta Hawks||29||35||19.0|
|9. New York Knicks||27||40||22.5|
|10. Cleveland Cavaliers||26||40||23.0|
|11. Detroit Pistons||25||41||25.0|
The Cavaliers have quietly won two straight and are four back in the standings and also five back in the loss column. Detroit appears to be free falling after dropping two straight and eight of their last 10. The Pistons blew a 25 point lead on Saturday in a loss to the Pacers.
When teams go through a streak like the Hawks did losing 14 of 15 then its hard to seriously critique a three-game winning streak. However, the Hawks haven't looked stellar in any of the three games and saw a 21 point lead evaporate in the second half against the Nuggets. They will need to get straightened out quickly as the schedule starts to pick up beginning on Monday. Here is a look at Atlanta's next five games:
|Mon, March 17||@ Charlotte||7:00 p.m.||SportSouth|
|Tues, March 18||vs Toronto||7:30 p.m.||SportSouth|
|Fri, March 21||vs New Orleans||7:30 p.m.||SportSouth|
|Sun, March 23||@ Toronto||1:00 p.m.||SportSouth|
|Mon, March 24||vs Phoenix||7:30 p.m.||SportSouth|
With 18 games remaining there is still plenty of time for the Hawks to fall out of the race or improve their positioning. They are two back of Charlotte for seventh and four back of Brooklyn entering Sunday. They will play the Bobcats on Monday and third place Toronto twice over the next seven days.