In this week's SB Nation NBA Power Rankings Tom Ziller drops the Hawks from No. 11 to No.12 despite a 3-0 week from Atlanta. Ziller sites the Hawks easy schedule thus far as part of the reason.
12. Atlanta Hawks (33-18, Prev: #11) -- The Hawks had a perfect week, but -- perspective, please -- it came against the Clippers, Raptors and Wizards. Atlanta's had the NBA's easiest schedule so far, according to Basketball-Reference, and the Hawks haven't exactly looked great against better teams. Atlanta may not hit 50 wins this year after getting 53 last season.
No at time the Hawks haven't looked great against the better teams but are about to get a chance to either prove people like Ziller right or wrong. The Hawks embark next week on a seven game road trip that is sandwiched around All Star Weekend that will take them to the end of February. Upon returning home, the Hawks will face off against Chicao, Oklahoma City, The Lakers, and New York before heading to Chicago for another match up with the Bulls. Atlanta doesn't have to win them all, but will get every opportunity to show whether or not they belong in the discussion.
Pace: 92.3 (24), Off: 104.9 (14), Def: 103.1 (12)
Joe Johnson (37 points vs. Toronto and a near triple-double vs. the Clippers), Jamal Crawford (34 points vs. L.A.), Al Horford (23 points, 12 boards and the game-winning free throws against L.A.), and Josh Smith (19 and 11 for the week) all came up big as the Hawks went 3-0 last week.
Some week for the Hawks. They got twice as many All-Stars as I expected (Horford and Joe Johnson) and passed Orlando to move into the East's No. 4 slot right after I suggested they were doomed to No. 5 (at best).