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Power rankings roundup: Early season struggles

Taking a look at the latest power rankings.

Minnesota Timberwolves v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks are currently on a seven-game losing streak and injury/suspension issues certainly aren’t helping. With that in mind, power rankings weighed in Atlanta’s placement in the league this week, with John Schuhmann of dropping Atlanta to No. 29 while pointing out some of the youth.

As the Hawks have lost six straight games, De’Andre Hunter has provided some hope for the future. The No. 4 pick has averaged a team-best 23.7 points per game on an effective field goal percentage of 65% over the last three, showing a deft catch-and-shoot game as the Hawks hung around with the champs on Saturday. Alas, Hunter has yet to make the defensive impact that the Hawks were hoping for (he ranks below Jabari Parker in deflections per 36 minutes), and this has been the league’s worst defensive team (by a wide margin) in November. Six of their 11 November games have come against top-10 offenses, but they face two more of those (on the road) this week. Trae Young broke out of a slump (7-for-33 from 3-point range over his previous five games) and recorded his second career triple-double (30, 10 and 10) against Toronto.

ESPN drops the Hawks to No. 27 in its latest ranking.

About the only thing soaring with the Hawks is Trae Young. The second-year guard recently became the sixth-fastest player in NBA history and the 10th-youngest in league history to make 200 career 3-pointers. Meanwhile, Atlanta has lost nine of its past 10 games, six straight overall, and only Golden State has fewer than their four wins. -- Spears

Michael Shapiro of Sports Illustrated points out Atlanta’s defensive struggles as he puts the Hawks at No. 27 overall.

Atlanta has dropped six straight amid a brutal schedule, and the road doesn’t get any easier with three road games in four nights around Thanksgiving. Lloyd Pierce’s frustration with his team’s defensive performance will likely continue at Milwaukee and at Houston.

Tommy Beer of Yahoo also points out the recent struggles as Atlanta lands at No. 28.

Thanks in part to a difficult stretch of games, the Hawks have lost six in a row, with the four of those losses being 15+ point blowouts. However, the schedule doesn’t get any easier for Atlanta this week. After hosting the Wolves on Monday, the Hawks travel to Milwaukee, Indiana and Houston later in the week.

Colin Ward-Henninger of CBS Sports puts the Hawks in the NBA’s basement (No. 30 overall) this week:

After a solid start to the season, things are looking pretty bleak for the Hawks. Unless Trae Young has an absolutely phenomenal game, which he’s done a lot of the time, Atlanta just has no chance. They’re battling the Wizards and Warriors for the league’s worst defensive rating, but hopefully the offense will be helped by the eventual return of Kevin Huerter and John Collins.

In short, it looks like the Hawks have dropped into the bottom five across the board and it is tough to argue that based on recent results and player availability. The good news is that many of the analysts have recognized the injuries to the team, though they also notice the tough schedule coming this week.

As always, leave your thoughts with us below.

Until next time.