Hawks continue to lead way in East, but can they compete in post-season?
The Atlanta Hawks became the first team to secure a playoff berth after their win over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night moved them to 48-12 for the season.
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As well as celebrating their spot in the post-season, this current Hawks roster can also proudly claim the best 60-game start in franchise history as they have stormed out to a lead in the Eastern Conference and defended their position for the majority of the season.
Despite a lack of superstar presence, Atlanta have found a way of emerging as a legitimate contender this season as coach Mike Budenholzer has transformed them into the ‘Spurs of the East’ with their team play, chemistry and consistency.
The Hawks rank sixth in offensive efficiency and third defensively, as they have shown that they can mix it with the best on both ends of the court. In addition, what is perhaps the most impressive aspect of their run is the fact that they have gone 17-4 against sides from the Western Conference.
It is enough to earn them the best record against teams in the West, and it is further proof that they can compete with the best in the NBA as the East is often criticised for being so weak beyond the top five or six teams.
While they may not be flashy or have the biggest market share in the league and they definitely lack superstar power, the Hawks have proven that they are here to stay this season but the real test comes in the playoffs when they will need to show that consistency under intense pressure while also arguably be labelled the favourites to win certain match-ups.
Math has never been our thing. With tonight’s win… pic.twitter.com/wADjLHiOBW
— WE’RE IN! (@ATLHawks) March 4, 2015