After an excellent final few games, the Atlanta Hawks have clinched the fifth seed and will play Washington in the first round.
What a crazy season it’s been for the Atlanta Hawks. A year of ups and downs has culminated in a tenth straight playoff berth for the city. No matter who you ask, a feat like this is incredible. This organization has managed to consistently win year after year in the most competitive basketball league in the world. After losing to Brooklyn on March 26th I never thought the Hawks would hold on. This resilience is incredible as the Hawks are on a tear headed into postseason play.
Four straight wins against Boston, Cleveland,Cleveland again, and Charlotte are key heading to Washington. With Boston and Cleveland at one and two in the standings, the confidence boost from winning is huge. Paul Millsap is returning to form as well. If the Hawks can continue to play quality basketball it’s a fact they can beat anyone. It’s true however that the playoffs are a completely different animal. It will take more than confidence to beat Washington.
Previewing the Series.
Atlanta is one and three head to head against the Wizards this season. John Wall and Bradley Beal are going to score without question. The real key to the series will be whether the Hawks can stop other contributors in the rotation. Otto Porter, Markieff Morris, and Marcin Gortat all have had success against Atlanta. Containing these three is vital to a series win. Identifying who has the hot hand and successfully limiting their impact is easier said then done though. Wall and Beal will do their thing, but limiting the effectiveness of secondary options is a must. If Wall can’t penetrate and dish he becomes less of a threat. The fewer options he has, the better off Atlanta is.
All in all, win or lose the Hawks have made the city proud. This roller-coaster season has culminated in the growth of young guys like Dennis and Tim Hardaway. No one knows what the off-season will hold, but with this late season momentum Atlanta is a dangerous team to play. This team will come ready to play, you can count on that.