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NBA Standings: Hawks win over Nets creates chaos in playoff race

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We take a look at the Eastern Conference standings after what was a crucial loss by the Nets on Wednesday.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Five teams are technically alive for the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, but in reality, it appears to be a four-horse race between the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Indiana Pacers and Miami, while the Charlotte Hornets remain alive only in the mathematical sense. For a brief moment, it looked as if the Nets would cruise into the playoffs, much to the chagrin of Atlanta Hawks fans everywhere, but with a loss to Atlanta on Wednesdaycoupled with some interesting results elsewhere, things are wide open.

As of Thursday morning, the Celtics and Nets remain in the driver's seat, with a tie for 7th place and relatively manageable remaining schedules. Boston holds the tiebreaker over Brooklyn, though the Nets do hold the head-to-head advantage against the Pacers should that come into play. Here is a look at the current picture:

Team W-L GB Remaining Schedule
7. Boston Celtics 36-42 23.0 @Cle, Cle, Tor, @Mil
8. Brooklyn Nets 36-42 23.0 Was, @Mil, Chi, Orl
Indiana Pacers 35-43 24.0 @Det, OKC, Was, @Mem
Miami Heat 35-43 24.0 Chi, Tor, Orl, @Phi
Charlotte Hornets 33-45 26.0 @Atl, @Det, Hou, @Tor

Miami is the lone team in action on Thursday, as they play a nationally televised home game against the Chicago Bulls. Needless to say, fans of the Hawks should be rooting hard for the Heat in order to keep lottery dreams alive. Stay tuned to Peachtree Hoops for the latest, and as always, root for everyone that isn't the Brooklyn Nets.