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Playoff scenarios for the Atlanta Hawks, and the rest of the Eastern Conference

The Hawks can land in two different places, but will have home court no matter what.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks head into their game against the Washington Wizards sitting as the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. For them, that is the basement, the farthest that they can fall in the standings. Their ceiling, on the other hand, would be landing in the third spot with a win, and a Miami Heat loss.

The rest of the Eastern Conference, well, isn't quite as simple as that. For instance, if the Hawks were to land the third seed, they could end up facing the Charlotte Hornets, the Boston Celtics, or even the Miami Heat. That would be quite the drop for the guys on South Beach.

The standings below show the teams in bold and caps that are locked into their current positions. The rest show the other options for the respective seeds:


3. Miami or Atlanta
4. Atlanta or Boston
5. Boston, Charlotte or Miami
6. Charlotte, Boston or Miami

The scenarios for each team are as follows:

Miami Heat

  • #3 if Heat win OR if Hawks lose
  • #5 if Hawks win and Heat and Hornets lose
  • #6 if Hawks and Hornets win and Heat loses
Atlanta Hawks
  • #3 if Hawks win and Heat lose
  • #4 if Heat win OR if Hawks lose
Boston Celtics
  • #4 if Celtics and Hawks win
  • #5 if Celtics and Hornets lose OR if Celtics win and Hawks lose
  • #6 if Hornets win and Celtics lose
Charlotte Hornets
  • #5 if Heat and Hornets win OR if Hornets, Celtics and Hawks win
  • #6 if Hornets lose OR if Hornets and Celtics win and Hawks lose