This week’s Power Rankings roundup is a bit of a mixed bag with the Atlanta Hawks moving up in a few rankings while sliding down in others.
ESPN.com’s Marc Stein gets things started this week dropping the Atlanta Hawks two spots to No. 9.
Just days before the Super Bowl, Atlantans were celebrating the Hawks' rally from 20 points down with 8:25 to go in Houston to stun the Rockets, which marked the NBA's first comeback from 20 points down in the fourth quarter since Indiana turned the tables on Cleveland in April 2013. NBA teams had lost (you can look it up) 1,306 consecutive times in that situation before the Hawks' epic resurrection. Since then, though, Atlantans have to be wondering if any lead is safe. On top of the Falcons' Super Bowl collapse, they were also just forced to endure the Hawks' failure to hold onto a 22-point edge in Sacramento on Friday night.
The Hawks have the third best record (22-11) in games played within the Eastern Conference, but are 9-12 against the West after a 1-2 week in which they lost to the Jazz by at least 25 points for the second time and blew a 22-point lead in Sacramento. Despite that one-point loss, they remain one of two teams with a winning record and a negative point differential. Their defense has suffered some slippage with Thabo Sefolosha (groin injury) missing the last seven games, but their offense has been at its best (114.7 points scored per 100 possessions) with Kent Bazemore and Tim Hardaway Jr. at the wings.
Atlanta drops two spots to No. 12 in Matt Moore’s rankings for CBS Sports.
The Hawks are that song on the album that you will listen to, it's fine. But you're not nodding your head to it, you're not humming it later and you're not blasting it at parties or in the car. It's just a filler song. It's good. It's just nothing special. That's Atlanta.
Pro Basketball Talk’s Kurt Helin moves the Hawks up one spot this week to No. 9
Losses to the Jazz and Kings last week showed how much this team’s defense has slipped with Thabo Sefolosha out (he’s missed seven in a row with a groin injury), but the offense still has this team playing over its head. As it has all season. Don’t expect to see them move Paul Millsap at the trade deadline, but as Sean Deveney and I discussed in the latest PBT Podcast they probably should.
Finally, Jeremy Woo moves Atlanta up one spot to No. 9 this week in his rankings for The Crossover.
With Thabo Sefolosha out, versatile first-rounder DeAndre Bembry has finally started getting some run off the bench this month for the Hawks and has been pretty solid in spot minutes. Don’t be shocked if his role expands sooner than later.
There you have it. So what do you think? Do the experts have the Atlanta Hawks too high or too low? Let us know in the comments.