Atlanta Hawks: Eastern Conference Power Rankings, Dec. 10

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

The Atlanta Hawks have navigated their brutal start to their season well enough to stick at fourth in the East as of today at 14-9. Power forward Paul Millsap is playing at an All-NBA level this season. Al Horford is nearly there as well, as Atlanta may have the best front court duo in the East this season.

This team isn’t spectacular on either end of the floor, but are doing enough to win most of their games. I’d like to believe that HC Mike Budenholzer will use a more spread out second half schedule to his advantage to get ahead in the standings. Keep hanging tough, Atlanta Hawks!

team. 81. . . Previous: . Toronto Raptors. 2

I look at the Toronto Raptors as clearly the best team in their division. Though the Atlantic is the weakest of the three in the East, Toronto’s dominance of it of late should at least mean something. To me, it takes the pressure off not having to go against a divisional juggernaut at least four times a year. The Raptors seem like a Top 4 seed this season.

Can they win the East? I think if Cleveland continues to sputter, then maybe. The opportunity to win the East is a bit wide-open as 2015 draws to a close. Sure, the Cavs are still the favorite, but it the outside shooting of the Raptors stays hot, this could stand as a tough team to beat come playoff time.

Next: Atlanta Hawks survive in Dallas, 98-95

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

Cleveland still owns the best record in the East at 14-7, but have cooled off considerably in recent weeks. While they are fantastic at home (10-1), it turns out that you can beat the Cavs away from Quicken Loans Arena rather easily (4-6).

The Cavaliers aren’t supremely better than the rest of the conference and that makes the Association all the more exciting. I expect the Cavs to play for another Eastern Conference Championship, but I wouldn’t say they are a certainty anymore to win the East in 2016. The conference is better than we originally thought.