The Atlanta Hawks continue to fall in the standings with another disappointing week and, after the majority of NBA power rankings arrived on Monday, the team moved in a different direction with its head coaching position. The good news is that due to the rest of the East being down, the Hawks could easily jump back in the playoff race if they get some consistent play.
Without further ado, here is a look at some rankings around the league.
NBA.com — No. 24
The team that ranks 29th in clutch defense had, perhaps, the most memorable defensive blunder of the season on Tuesday, allowing rookie Lamar Stevens to end the Cavs’ 10-game losing streak with an easy stroll to the hoop. The Hawks continue to miss De’Andre Hunter on that end of the floor, ranking 27th defensively since losing him to a knee injury and having allowed 3.6 fewer points per 100 possessions with him on the floor than they did with him off the floor prior to that. The Hawks allowed just 101.2 per 100 in 317 minutes with Hunter and Clint Capela on the floor together, even though Trae Young was also on the floor for 277 (87%) of those 317 minutes.
They recovered from the loss in Cleveland with an easy win over the Celtics in which Danilo Gallinari scored 38 points, shooting 10-for-12 from 3-point range. Alas, Gallinari missed all 10 of his 3s in Oklahoma City and Miami over the weekend as the Hawks lost two games in which John Collins totaled 59 points on 24-for-40 from the field. It was just last season that Gallinari was a part of the league’s best lineup, but the Hawks haven’t been able to find anything close to that kind of fit, though they have outscored their opponents by 15.4 points per 100 possessions in 145 minutes with Gallinari alongside Capela.
ESPN — No. 22
The Hawks fell to six games below .500 for the first time with a loss to the Heat on Sunday, putting more of a damper on a campaign that started with such high hopes. If the season ended today, Atlanta would be outside of the play-in tournament. There aren’t many favors in the second half of the schedule, which includes an eight-game road trip from March 20 to April 2, the longest for any NBA team this season.
CBS Sports — No. 24
The Hawks absolutely destroyed the Celtics, but teams with playoff aspirations can’t lose to the Cavs and Thunder. Trae Young is mired in another shooting slump, going just 37 percent from the field this week, while John Collins continued his excellent season with averages of 21.5 points and eight rebounds on 47 percent 3-point shooting. Danilo Gallinari put on one of the best shooting displays you’ll ever see in the win over Boston, going 10 for 12 from 3-point range en route to 38 points in 33 minutes. Unfortunately for Atlanta, he’s missed 10 straight 3s since that game.
The good news is that the the Hawks don’t appear to be in the very bottom tier of NBA teams. The bad is that they seem to be only getting worse in terms of the record. Hopefully the Hawks can get things together soon before they are with those teams at the very bottom.