It's a bit early, and the toughest part of the non-Al Horford schedule has yet to commence, but still it's good to see that our own preseason assessment regarding the regular season, considered optimistic, has been to this date exceeded.
(waiting for your return)
Ok, so a couple of interesting items and a caveat.
First the caveat: It's only been 14 games. With the shortened training camp/offseason and teams struggling to adjust to new rotations and new coaches, this is precisely how the Hawks, who have maintained their rotational integrity for a while now, should have opened.
Now, the interesting: The Celtics, who have been mainstays atop the Eastern conference since the Garnett/Allen trades, are 10th. 10th! Hard to fathom the quick drop, but hold the celebrations, as Tom Ziller contextualizes, the C's are not done yet.
Also interesting: Cleveland in the playoffs! Byron Scott for COY!
Now about the Hawks:
Not only are the Hawks currently third in the East by this report, but they have a higher probability to win the division than do the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic. The Heat still edge the Hawks in probability of winning the East and the Championship, but interesting to see the Hawks ahead, even a fifth of the way into the season.
Also, the Hawks likely landing spot in terms of record is today 41-25. Mine and Kris' fearless win predictions, again considered to be optimistic at the time? 36 for me and 37 for Kris. Yahtzee!
Things will definitely change off these current projections and especially for the Hawks who will eventually pay the penalty of not having a key player in the lineup for months, but it's good to see that the Hawks, to this point, have indeed taken advantage of the situation that the shortened season presented to them.