clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NBA Standings 2015: Atlanta Hawks pulling away in the East

The Atlanta Hawks have opened up a 10.5 game lead in the Eastern Conference standings.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

We are in the final stretch of the NBA season and not much has changed at the top of the Eastern Conference Standings since the last time we took a closer look. The Atlanta Hawks are running away with the Eastern Conference and now hold a 10.5 game lead over Chicago, Toronto and Cleveland in the standings.

Over the final part of the season, playoff positioning will be the key element to focus on. The Cavs, Bulls and Raptors look like they will battle daily for the 2-4 spots in the standings.

Here is a look at the Eastern Conference Standings heading into play on Thursday:

Team W L PCT GB Streak
1. Atlanta Hawks 48 12 .800 0.0 W 5
2. Chicago Bulls 38 23 .623 10.5 W 1
3. Toronto Raptors 38 23 .623 10.5 L 1
4. Cleveland Cavaliers 39 24 .619 10.5 W 2
5. Washington Wizards 34 27 .557 14.5 L 1
6. Milwaukee Bucks 32 29 .525 16.5 L 4
7. Miami Heat 27 33 .450 21.0 W 2
8. Charlotte Hornets 26 33 .441 21.5 W 3
Indiana Pacers 26 34 .433 22.0 W 3
Brooklyn Nets 25 34 .424 22.5 L 1
Boston Celtics 24 35 .407 23.5 W 1
Detroit Pistons 23 37 .383 25.0 L 4
Orlando Magic 19 43 .306 30.0 L 4
Philadelphia 76ers 13 48 .213 35.5 L 3
New York Knicks 12 48 .200 36.0 L 2

Who's Hot

Cleveland has righted the ship since the calendar turned to 2015 and has won 20 of their last 24 games. The Cavs are still fourth in the standings currently but have caught Chicago and Toronto and look like the team that is best positioned to settle into the second spot in the Eastern Conference behind the Atlanta Hawks. That would be good news for Atlanta as they would avoid seeing Cleveland until a potential Eastern Conference Finals match up.

Who's Not

There are several teams that fit into the Who's Not hot category. The Washington Wizards have fallen to fifth place in the East and have lost seven of their last 10 games. They are currently 14.5 games behind Atlanta and four full games behind Cleveland, Chicago and Toronto.

For a moment it looked like Milwaukee might be able to overtake the Wizards and move into fifth place but the Bucks are scuffling a bit themselves. Milwaukee has lost six of 10 and four straight and remain two games back of Washington.

The Detroit Pistons made a significant move at the trade deadline getting Reggie Jackson from the Oklahoma City Thunder. The move was made with one eye on the future but there was optimism that it could also elevate them into the East playoff picture. That hasn't materialized as the Pistons have lost six of 10 and four straight to fall 3.5 games behind Charlotte for the final playoff spot.

Race for Eighth

Still a tight race for the last two spots in the East's playoff picture. The Miami Heat enter Thursday with a half game lead over the Hornets for the seventh seed. Charlotte has won three straight to move into eighth place. The Indiana Pacers have also won three straight and sit just a half game behind the Hornets in the standings. Brooklyn is one full game back of Charlotte while the Boston Celtics are two games back.

This race is significant to Atlanta for a couple of reasons. One, they will face the eighth seed in the first round of the playoffs. Second, the Hawks have the option to swap draft picks with the Nets this summer and if Brooklyn misses the playoffs, that will give Atlanta a lottery pick as part of the Joe Johnson trade.

Western Conference

The Golden State Warriors and the Memphis Grizzlies continue to lead the pack out west with the rest of the standings again tightly contested. Portland has cut the gap on the Grizzlies a bit with a four game winning streak and are just percentage points ahead of the Houston Rockets.

Here is a look at the up to the minute standings out west:

Team W L PCT GB Streak
1. Golden State Warriors 47 12 .797 0.0 W 1
2. Memphis Grizzlies 43 17 .717 4.5 W 1
3. Portland Trail Blazers 40 19 .678 7.0 W 4
4. Houston Rockets 41 20 .672 7.0 L 2
5. L.A. Clippers 40 22 .645 8.5 L 1
6. Dallas Mavericks 40 22 .645 8.5 W 1
7. San Antonio Spurs 37 23 .617 10.5 W 3
8. Oklahoma City Thunder 34 27 .557 14.0 W 2
New Orleans Pelicans 33 28 .541 15.0 W 1
Phoenix Suns 32 30 .516 16.5 W 1
Utah Jazz 24 36 .400 23.5 L 1
Denver Nuggets 22 39 .361 26.0 W 2
Sacramento Kings 21 38 .356 26.0 L 1
L.A. Lakers 16 44 .267 31.5 L 3
Minnesota Timberwolves 13 47 .217 34.5 L 4

Who's Hot

I'm inclined to say everyone but Oklahoma City has won eight of 10 and despite injuries to both Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. Westbrook has been playing at an unbelievable level of late and its looking more and more like the race for the eight seed out west is nothing more than a formality now. A potential first round match up between the Warriors and the Thunder will be must see TV.

Who's Not

Denver doesn't have the worst record in the league but they have had one of the worst seasons of any team in the NBA this year. Brian Shaw finally got the ax this week after his team pretty much quit on him. Despite being an advocate for coaches most of the time, even I have to admit that Shaw didn't do a great job with the Nuggets. Still he was dealt a tough hand and some questionable decisions along the way tied his hands a bit. Before Denver hires another coach they need to decide what they are and what direction they want to go. The best coach in the world won't succeed without a stable environment behind him.

Race for Eighth

The Thunder is the hottest team in the conference right now but the New Orleans Pelicans are just a game back and just got Anthony Davis back from a shoulder injury. If Davis can stay healthy, the Pelicans can stay within striking distance should the Thunder succumb to another rash of injuries. More and more though, its looking like Oklahoma City is going to be able to do enough to hold onto that eighth spot.

It was a turbulent trade deadline for the Phoenix Suns who were forced to deal Goran Dragic to Miami and jettisoned Isaiah Thomas to Boston while acquiring Brandon Knight from Milwaukee. The moves haven't paid off yet as the Suns have dropped seven of 10 to fall 2.5 games behind the Thunder.