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NBA Standings: Hawks right in the middle of tight Eastern Conference race

The Atlanta Hawks are 33-27 through 60 games and 5th in the Eastern Conference standings.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Slow and steady usually wins the race and the Hawks are continuing to stay in the middle of the Eastern Conference. After dipping to sixth-place last week, the Hawks are up one to fifth trailing the fourth-place Miami Heat by half-a-game. Unlike last year, It will probably come to the wire on who wins the Southeast division.

The Hawks are steady but shaky at times. In the last ten games, the Hawks are 5-5 and losing five out of six during the span. Atlanta does have a two game winning streak going into a five game West road trip that begins with the 53 and 5 Golden State Warriors. With that being said, the Warriors were the first team to clinch a playoff berth since the 1987-88 Los Angeles Lakers. This week, the Hawks should win two out of three with playing the Lakers and Clippers in the Staples Center on Friday and Saturday to start off the ten day road trip. The Hawks could pull the upset against the Warriors on Tuesday because this is the NBA and get back at Steph after he embarrassed the Hawks last week. The Hawks need a win in Kobe's last game against the Hawks. The Clippers' game will be the rubber game on getting out of the week with a winning record. The Hawks need wins to give themselves a cushion in the Eastern Conference standings.

A Look at the rest of the Eastern Conference

The Toronto Raptors have pulled within two games of the first-place Cleveland Cavaliers. At 39-19, the Raptors have a good shot at first place if they can gain on the Cavs. At five games back of second place, the Celtics sit pretty at the three spot with a game and a half over the Heat. The next five spots can be anybody's with two and a half games between the four and the eight spot. The Bulls are at risk of not even making the playoffs being tied with the Detroit Pistons for eighth place.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers 41 17 .707 -
2. Toronto Raptors 39 19 .672 2
3. Boston Celtics 35 25 .583 7
4. Miami Heat 33 26 .559 8.5
5. Atlanta Hawks 33 27 .550 9
6. Indiana Pacers 31 28 .525 10.5
7. Charlotte Hornets 30 28 .517 11
8. Chicago Bulls 30 28 .517 11
Detroit Pistons 31 29 .517 11