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NBA Standings: Hawks Streak into Top 3 in East standings

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With 12 games to go in the regular season, the Atlanta Hawks are 41-29 and are in third-place in the Eastern Conference standings.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

When you're hot, you're hot and the Atlanta Hawks have picked the right time to get hot. With 12 games to go in the regular season, the Hawks have put themselves in a great position to secure a top four spot in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. By winning five games in a row, the Hawks jumped three spots in just a week and now are in sole possession of first place in the Southeast Division. The Miami Heat trail the Hawks by half a game in the Southeast division and the East standings. The Hawks just have to stay hot.

This Week for the Hawks

The Hawks are the hot team of the week in the Eastern Conference and could continue their win streak this week. Atlanta has four games this week, starting their week off with a home and home with the Washington Wizards. After tonight's home game with the Wizards, the Hawks will travel to Washington for a game on Wednesday night. The Wizards are in tenth-place in the East and destined to not make the playoffs this year. The Hawks could win both games, but the odds are that they could pull one out over the Hawks in Washington. The Wizards are 19-17 at home this season and 15-18 away.

The Hawks host the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night, which should be an easy win for the home team Hawks. On Saturday night, the Hawks begin their three game road trip against the Pistons. The Pistons are statistically tied for eighth-place at the moment. It depends on what Pistons team shows up on whether or not the Hawks can begin their road trip with a W.

The Not team of the Week

With two teams already eliminated from the playoffs in both conferences, with more to come this week and next. There are only a few teams left with an actual shot of the playoffs. When you're in the top eight, you can't have an off week and this week's not team of the week is the Boston Celtics. The Celtics lost four games in a row before beating the 76ers last night to end the cold snap, but it's the 76ers though. The Celtics were sixth as of Sunday but the win over the Sixers tied them for fifth with the Charlotte Hornets.

A Look at the Eastern Conference Standings

Team W L PCT. GB
1. x- Cleveland Cavaliers 49 20 .710 -
2. Toronto Raptors 47 21 .691 1.5
3. Atlanta Hawks 41 29 .586 8.5
4. Miami Heat 40 29 .580 9
5. Boston Celtics 39 30 .565 10
6. Charlotte Hornets 39 30 .565 10
7. Indiana Pacers 36 33 .522 13
8. Chicago Bulls 35 33 .515 13.5
Detroit Pistons 36 34 .514 13.5