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NBA Standings: Slow start following break has Hawks falling fast

The Atlanta Hawks are 31-26 and are in second place in the Southeast Division.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

With the trade deadline over, there is only one thing to look forward to in the regular season and that is the Push for the Playoffs. There are good news and bad news for Hawks fans right now. The good news is that there is only 25 games to go in the season. The bad news is there are still 25 games to go in the season.

The Upside for the Hawks

The starting five remained intact after the trade deadline. The Hawks could have went into rebuilding mode, but instead kept the core together for another playoff push. The run for the Southeast division will be a back and forth battle between the Hawks and the Miami Heat. In recent weeks, one team will have a good week while the other is having a bad week and the next week it will be vice versa. The Hawks lost the final regular season matchup with the Heat last week. With Chris Bosh out for a little while, it could be a chance for the Hawks to get a couple games up in the division standings.

The division deficit is only a game and with a couple of Hawks wins, they could be back on top by Friday. The Hawks play the Bulls and Hornets this week and need a solid win or two this week to help their standing. The Hawks have a three-game home stand this week. The goal for the Hawks is to get back up to the top four in the Conference and they are a couple of wins from that. They are only two wins out of third place being tied with the Pacers for fifth.

The Downside for the Hawks

Currently, the Hawks sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference after being fourth in the standings just a week ago. Losing two in a row in three days does not help the Hawks case. This was not the start the Hawks fans hoped for coming out of the All-Star Break. Even worse news is the Golden State Warriors come to town and then host the eighth seed Chicago Bulls and the seventh seed Charlotte Hornets to close the week out. The Hornets, who have won five in a row and could add to the winning streak if they can get wins over the Cavs and Pacers before playing the Hawks.

NBA Standings

Eastern Conference
1. Cleveland Cavaliers 40 14 .741 -
2. Toronto Raptors 36 18 .667 4
3. Boston Celtics 33 24 .579 8.5
4. Miami Heat 31 24 .564 9.5
5. Indiana Pacers 30 25 .549 10.5
6. Atlanta Hawks 31 26 .544 10.5
7. Charlotte Hornets 29 26 .527 11.5
8. Chicago Bulls 29 26 .527 11.5
Detroit Pistons 27 29 .482 14
Washington Wizards 25 29 .463 15

Western Conference
1. Golden State Warriors 49  5 .907 -
2. San Antonio Spurs 47 9 .839 3
3. Oklahoma City Thunder 40 16 .714 10
4. Los Angeles Clippers 36 19 .655 13.5
5. Memphis Grizzlies 32 23 .582 17.5
6. Dallas Mavericks 30 27 .526 20.5
7. Portland Trail Blazers 29 27 .518 21
8. Houston Rockets 28 28 .500 22
Utah Jazz 27 28 .491 22.5
Sacramento Kings 23 31 .426 26