Atlanta Hawks: Eastern Conference Power Rankings, Dec. 3

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Dec 2, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) and Atlanta Hawks guard Thabo Sefolosha (25) fight for a rebound during the second half at Philips Arena. The Raptors defeated the Hawks 96-86. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

6. team. 125. . . Previous: . Atlanta Hawks

So here we are. The Atlanta Hawks have played more games than anybody at 21 and find themselves in the middle of the pack in most team categories. Offensive efficiency has them 8th in the Association (105.4), while defensive efficiency has them 15th (103.8).

Atlanta is probably just tired, but if they can continue their winning ways in Southeast play (4-0) and beat Western foes (5-4), they can hang in the improved East (3-5 against the Central and Atlantic). Here’s to beating the Lakers tomorrow night to move to 13-9 on the year and 6-4 versus the Western Conference!

. . Previous: . Miami Heat. 5. team. 110

Miami is becoming a great defensive team in 2015-16. Having a great rim protector in C Hassan Whiteside and a promising young wing defender in rookie Justise Winslow gives the Heat a bit more spark defensively than they’ve had in a few years.

Erik Spoelstra’s team is 2nd in the NBA in points allowed per game (92.5) and are 3rd in team defensive rating (98.9). Miami is a well-coached team with a defensive identity. They can certainly win the division and possibly play for an Eastern Conference Championship in 2015-16. This team is good, but not great.

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. Previous: . Toronto Raptors. 4. team. 81.

Toronto, when on top of their game, is a dangerous shooting team. With the Wizards’ struggles of late, I’d have to say that the Toronto Raptors might have the best backcourt duo in the East with PG Kyle Lowry and SG DeMar DeRozan. These guys feed of each other and can carry the team’s offense like Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant do in Oklahoma City.

Toronto should emerge as the winner of the Atlantic Division again in 2016. This is a team that could make it to the Eastern Conference Finals as easily as it could lose again in the first round. They’ll need a Top 3 seed to feel safe about advancing in 2016.

Next: Tier I: NBA Finals Contenders