Heading into this week things weren’t looking too good for the Atlanta Hawks. Coming into Monday’s win against the hapless 76ers, the Hawks had dropped six straight and looked to be on the verge of a total collapse down the final stretch of the season to fall out of playoff contention. This led some to question whether or not it may be worth it for the Hawks to even try to make the playoffs (including yours truly).
It’s probably also not encouraging to have your GM say things like, “We’re not focused on trying to be the eighth seed in the playoffs because that’s not our goal. We’re trying to build something that’s good, sustainable and the components are in place for us to do so.” And by “our” he means management because the players are never going to willingly lose games when their paychecks are determined by performance. You can’t blame him though, it would seem to make a lot more sense losing and then likely getting a top 10 pick in the draft versus maybe two home games in a playoff sweep.
Danny Ferry also spoke to that this is roster that is well set up, both in terms of cap space and contract length as well. The Hawks will command a lot of flexibility moving forward to hopefully lure a superstar and put together a contender.
In the meantime though, they may not want to lay a smackdown on teams like the Indiana Pacers if the eighth seed isn’t the goal. The Hawks obliterated them today, winning 107-88, while holding the Pacers to 23 points at the half, a record for both teams. The Pacers have been in an unprecedented slump lately but it might be too late in the season for them to be thinking about tanking now. The win capped off a week where the Hawks won 3 of 4 and now hold a 2 game lead over the New York Knicks. It was also the first Hawks win on the road over a team with possessing .500 record or better at the time (aka-they beat the Bobcats on the road but they weren’t over .500 at the time). It also marked the Pacers’ second loss to an Eastern team at home on the season.
It was certainly a feel good win for this team to show what they can put together when they’re healthy.
Which reminds me.
Get better Al.