Atlanta Hawks: Eastern Conference Power Rankings, Nov. 19

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Nov 18, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Lamar Patterson (13) celebrates a play with center Al Horford (15, left), forward Paul Millsap (4), and guard Dennis Schroder (17) in the fourth quarter of their game against the Sacramento Kings at Philips Arena. The Hawks won 103-97. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

team. 125. . . Previous: . Atlanta Hawks. 3

I have to punish the Atlanta Hawks for their recent struggles. Yes, the schedule is brutal, but could easily be 11-3 on the year and in first place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. Not having PG Jeff Teague the last week doesn’t help, as it limits the Hawks’ point guard depth considerably.

Rebounding and perimeter defense are still major concerns, but this team can create turnovers better than just about anybody. If Atlanta’s knocking down the outside shot and not playing carelessly with the basketball on offense, this team can beat anybody any given night.

team. 24. . . Previous: . Chicago Bulls. 2

The Chicago Bulls haven’t been a world-beat either, so why do I have them ahead of the Atlanta Hawks this week? I think Chicago is better equipped to deal with injuries than the Atlanta Hawks are. They’ve had to deal with a myriad of injuries over the Tom Thibodeau Era in the Windy City and can still play at a hight level, even without all their pieces. I can’t safely say that about the Hawks. Look at how the team has looked sans Jeff Teague for a week or Thabo in the playoffs.

Chicago still has limitations like Derrick Rose‘s double vision, having a new head coach in Fred Hoiberg, or the lingering effects of being driven into the ground by Thibodeau’s all-out defensive scheme. However like Atlanta, the Bulls can win the East in 2016 should they catch a lucky break or two. This is an incredibly deep team the Bulls have.

Next: Dennis Schroder: Not Ready for the Spotlight, Yet

Previous: . Cleveland Cavaliers. 1. team. 156. .

LeBron James is being very smart in the onset of the 2015-16 NBA season. He’s letting the offense run through Kevin Love to better see what the team’s strengths and weaknesses are in that sort of offense. Cleveland doesn’t have to destroy people in the regular season, as their season starts in the playoffs.

Being selective about his minutes and exertion bodes the Cavs’ chances to win an NBA Championship in 2016. Since they have the easiest path there of any team in the NBA, I still like them to end Cleveland’s title drought of 52 years.