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Five easy steps to rooting for lottery-bound teams

The unofficial Peachtree Hoops guide of how to root for a non-playoff team.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks-Media Day Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

At the moment, the Atlanta Hawks currently have the second-longest active playoff streak in the NBA, trailing only the San Antonio Spurs. I, for one, have enjoyed the ups and downs of this nearly decade long ride even if these are not the Hawks that I am necessarily used to.

Now that the team seems to be lottery bound, I am back in familiar waters with the Atlanta Hawks that I grew up to love. Just because the Hawks look like a lottery bound team and will be back to being the butt of many jokes, though, does not mean that you can’t find ways to have fun during the regular season.

Below are my five steps to rooting for a lottery bound NBA team, with a nod toward simple enjoyment.

Step 1: Set reasonable (minimal) expectations.

If you admit to yourself that your team is bad or if you expect the team to lose every game, then your friends nor the team can hurt your feelings.

During the dark ages of the mid-2000 Hawks, I would just accept that my favorite team would lose every night. As a result, I was never disappointed and often times surprised when they pulled off a miracle like this gem that I attended while in high school.

Below is sample interaction that you may face:

Bandwagon fan: “Your team sucks”

Me: “Yeah, I know”

Bandwagon fan: *backpedals* “Well....Uhhh”

Me: “Yup”

Step 2: Lose with expectations.

The great philosopher Dominic Toretto once said “It don't matter if you win by an inch or a mile. Winning's winning.”

Well, sometimes winning isn’t always winning. This is a young team that is mostly going to be monitored by progress instead of wins. I don’t anticipate John Collins to be in the starting lineup. However, we will want to monitor how his offense looks at the next level along with if he defense improves through the season.

There are going to be a lot of rough nights, so feel free to use my predicted most used phrases such as “well the silver lining here is…” and “it’s all about winning the battle and not the war.”

Congratulations! If you have made it this far into the article then you hopefully have legitimate interest in the 2017-2018 Atlanta Hawks.

Step 3: Follow the game on Twitter.

Watching a Hawks, or rather any professional game, is one thing, but following it along with twitter is a whole new experience.

Twitter allows someone to view the personal thoughts of individuals in as few words as possible. This platform of social media is perfect for someone like me who doesn’t want to talk to anyone yet see what everyone is thinking.

Twitter is also a great place to rant when your team eventually goes on a losing streak in the upcoming season.

Bonus: Following the individuals that make up Peachtree Hoops is a must since we typically include play breakdown, bench activity, and randomness going on in the arena.

Extra bonus: Do not follow me unless you want to read strictly sarcastic comments on the beloved Atlanta Hawks.

Step 4: Create a game.

By referencing a game, this can reference anything from taking personal bets during the game to creating a drinking game for each night. Just for the sake of sobriety, I will probably limit myself to taking a shot for each time Bembry hits a three pointer.

However, if I were back in my college days, I challenge anyone to take on the challenge of drinking every time Coach Bud face-palms this upcoming season.

For an added bonus, credit to Hawks Reddit for making this fun Nique bingo card a couple years ago.

Step 5: Make the time productive.

Now we get to more practical uses of time for Hawks games. Being a Hawks fan isn’t easy or a privilege. In fact, it’s a service. The best use of time is release some steam into something productive. For myself, this could be cleaning the dishes, folding clothes, or even getting in a workout while also keeping an eye on the task at hand.

Those were my five steps for making it through the season as a fan of a lottery bound NBA team. Again, I (like many old-school Hawks fans) am back into my comfort zone but the past decade has possibly left me rusty. If there are any steps that I need to include, please let me know in the comments below.