It looks like the Hawks are starting to kick it into gear as we get closer to the end of the season. I would like to point out that someone wise (myself) once said that you don't win championships in January. Let's get to the rankings and see what people think of our Hawks in this weeks ranking.
John Schuhmann of NBA.com vaults the Hawks all the way to No. 5 this week.
The biggest difference in the Hawks' defense that ranked 13th through Jan. 14 and the defense that has ranked first since then is opponent 3-point shooting. SportVU numbers don't say that they're contesting threes more than they were early in the season, so don't be surprised if that 3-point percentage starts to creep back up when they play some of the league's best shooting teams in a couple of weeks.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com slots the Hawks up at No. 6.
The Hawks do everything quietly, but the fanfare has been especially modest when it comes to their rise to No. 2 in defensive efficiency, meaning Atlanta trails only mighty San Antonio and ranks as one of just two teams league-wide holding the opposition to less than 100 points per 100 possessions. P.S. -- Kyle Korver should be back in the 40s with his 3-point percentage by the time we reconvene next Monday.
Jeremy Woo of SI.com keeps the Hawks at No. 9.
Marked defensive improvement continues to shift the outlook for the Hawks, who hold the league’s best defensive rating since the All-Star break (93 points allowed per 100 possessions) and have now won seven of nine games. If that holds, a return to the Eastern Conference Finals isn’t so far-fetched
Kurt Helin of NBCsports.com somehow manages to drop the Hawks to No. 10 and actually talks about defensive slippage? What?
They may have had a little defensive slippage but it remains that side of the ball that not only has this team in the playoffs but also makes them dangers in it. After a slump, Kyle Korver has found his three point stroke again (which is bad news for opponents).
Finally, Matt Moore of CBSsports.com also drops the Hawks but to No. 8 this week.
The Hawks' defense has been solid all year, but they're starting to find their offense finally. No one's going to buy into them in the playoffs, and if they hit the right gear, that could be a huge mistake.
That does it for the ranking this week and it looks like the Hawks have managed to get inside of the top 10. It will be fun to watch to see if the Hawks keep up the strong play and if it not only moves them up in the power rankings but in the playoff standings. As always, be sure to leave your thoughts below.