FEEL THE EXCITEMENT!!! Yes! The Hawks are moving up in the standings as well as the power rankings. As I type this, the Hawks are currently third in the East.......wait no the game just ended 4th.... but anyway we are still moving up and not near the bottom of the race like we were a few weeks back. Before I get lost and too technical on the rankings, lets get to the rankings.
John Schuhmann of NBA.com keeps the Hawks at No. 5.
The Hawks have been the league's best defensive team over the last three months, and now their offense is showing some signs of life. They've won 10 of their last 12 games and have scored 109 points per 100 possessions over their five-game winning streak, with an increase in their assist rate,seven guys averaging double-figures, and Kyle Korver shooting 14-for-26 from 3-point range.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com moves the Hawks up to No. 5 this week.
Only six teams in the NBA can claim to possess a winning record against .500-or-better teams this season. And the Hawks are one of those six alongside Golden State, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Cleveland and Toronto. So perhaps it's no accident that Atlanta awoke on this Rankings Monday having quietly risen to No. 3 in the East. Yet here's something the Hawks will have to wait until next season to try to correct: San Antonio's 18 consecutive home victories over them (dating to Jan. 21, 1998) is the league's second-longest such streak behind the Spurs' 33 regular-season wins in a row at home against Golden State.
Jeremy Woo of SI.com also moves the Hawks up to No. 6.
Post All-Star break, the Hawks have posted the league’s second-best point differential (behind the Spurs, ahead of the Warriors) and are allowing four fewer points per game. Given that they’re shooting 30 threes per game, maintaining the defensive consistency to combat likely offensive variance will be a playoff key.
Matt Moore of cbssports.com also moves Atlanta up to No. 5.
The Hawks have quietly won five in a row and eight of nine. Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver still aren't quite playing like the All-Stars they were last year, but Atlanta's defense has been consistently awesome. Caw-caw!
Kurt Helin of NBCsports.com also keeps the Hawks in the top 10 this week.
Your current three seed in the East, they have the second best net rating in the NBA over the last 10 games (San Antonio is tops), and it’s because their defense continues to shut teams down (second best in the NBA on the season). They have won five in a row, their offense is starting to look like last year’s, and you have to wonder if the Hawks can make it back to the conference finals if things go their way (meaning they are not on the Cavs side of the bracket).
Finally, USATOSDAY.com puts the Hawks at No. 8 and recognizing their good play.
Atlanta has won eight of nine, and Tim Hardaway Jr. recorded his first two 20-plus point games of the season.
That does it for the rankings and good to see the Hawks starting to look nice right before the playoffs. The Hawks still have a challenge ahead of them before entering the post season since in my opinion they play the toughest schedule of the teams they are around. Hopefully, they will get homecourt by the time the season ends. Anyway as always leave your thoughts below.