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Atlanta Hawks draw high praise from unlikely sources

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The Atlanta Hawks deserve accolades, but they drew some significant praise from two unusual sources in the aftermath of tying the franchise record for consecutive wins.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

14 consecutive wins will change the minds of many, and on the eve of a potential franchise-record event at Philips Arena, the Atlanta Hawks have received praise from a couple unique and somewhat surprising perspectives.

First, Friday's opponent weighed in on their recent success, as Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins had this to say when prompted about his thoughts on the team and if the recent success was real:

"They're good. And what happens is teams come into games thinking 'they're not that good'. But, no, they are really that good. They love playing with each other and you could tell that they're having fun. Right now, they are the best team in basketball."

Perkins has become a much-maligned player in the NBA, largely because of inexplicable (at least at times) use by his head coach, but this is a veteran player who has been through numerous playoff series, both in Oklahoma City and Boston, and his words carry significant weight. In addition, Perkins is often seen with a scowl, and effusive praise of the opponent is not something you would attribute to his playbook on a regular basis.

While Perkins largely focused on the team-wide aspect of Atlanta's success, perhaps the most visible NBA voice in the country discussed the team in glowing terms on Thursday evening, as Inside the NBA panelist Charles Barkley went to bat for the team's individuals. Barkley said, in simple terms, that the "Atlanta Hawks deserve four All-Stars", adding that he "rewards winning", and in the same breath, Barkley stated that he would "pay to see Kyle Korver" while comparing his shooting excellence to that of Reggie Miller and Steve Kerr.

A large portion of the Hawks fan base is still in the "honeymoon stage" with this club, and plainly, that is perfectly within reason. Still, the Atlanta Hawks are drawing positive thoughts from across the NBA world, and it is a fun time to be a diehard supporter of this club.