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Entering the Final Stretch NBA Power Rankings

We have entered the final stretch with only 11 games left on the schedule.


Alright guys, the season is coming to an end as we hit the final stretch. Outside of Miami, the playoff race is close in the and even with 11 games left positioning is still close. But lets take a step back from the positioning and look at how we look this week in the rankings. John Schuhmann of will get us started this week by moving us down a spot to #14 and mentioning a certain players shot selection.

The Hawks lost to the two Lottery teams they played last week, but got the two wins -- both over Milwaukee -- that they really needed to stay in the East's top five. Josh Smith had a big bucket in Sunday's win and continues to fill the boxscore, but that includes the opponent's rebound column. He has shot a miserable 32-for-133 (24 percent) from outside the paint since the All-Star break. Go inside, Smooth.

Marc Stein of also moves us down 1 spot to #13

Here's another Eastern Conference resident, like the Knicks, grateful no team outside of Miami can make the claim that it's playing well. Wins over the Lakers, Nets and Bucks (two) have kept the Hawks firmly in the hunt for home-court advantage in Round 1 despite a 1-7 start in March.

Matt Moore of moves us to #13 which is yes 1 spot lower than last week.

They've got a schedule against a lot of mid-tier teams coming up, so we're about to find out about Atlanta shortly.

Surprisingly Jon Hartzell at has us at #9.

They sure made it clear this week that they’re better than the Milwaukee Bucks. But that’s not that impressive.

Finally Matt Dollinger of moves us to #13 in the ranking mentioning how close it is in the East.

The Hawks might be the toughest team in the league to predict. Atlanta is smack dab in the middle of an airtight East playoff race. Projected to finish fifth, the Hawks are only three games back of the No. 3 seed and only 1½ games away from dropping into a tie for the No. 7 seed. Oddly enough, the No. 7 seed might be the best place for the Hawks. Not only would it put them on the opposite end of the bracket as the Heat, but the Hawks are 2-1 against the Pacers, the projected No. 2 seed.

Well that's it for this weeks ranking. We seem to be either dropping by one or moving up one spot. Hopefully the Hawks pull it together as we finish up the season in these next couple of weeks. But what do you guys think? do we have a chance to not only move up in the ranking but also in the standings?