For the first time in quite a while, Hawks fans could do a little bit of scoreboard watching to see if they would improve in the standings on their night off. Entering Wednesday’s game, Atlanta sat alone as the 7th seed, but they had a chance to jump into a tie for the sixth spot with a Celtics loss.
Boston, who was projected to be one of the top seeds in the Eastern Conference coming into the season, continued their disappointing campaign with a loss to the Cavs on the road. But they weren’t the only team that was defeated last night, which benefited the Hawks.
Virtually everyone Atlanta wanted to lose on Wednesday did lose. The Bulls, Pacers, and Raptors, who are closing in on the Hawks from the rearview, fell — and the Heat and Hornets, who sit just ahead of the Hawks in the standings, also lost.
After last night’s slate of games, Atlanta sits in the sixth spot, tied with the Celtics. They are only 1.5 games behind the Heat for the 4th seed and 0.5 games behind the Hornets for the 5th seed. Behind them, the Knicks sit just 0.5 games back in the 8th spot, but more importantly, the Raptors — who are 11th in the standings, which is the first place out of the play-in tournament — now trail the Hawks by 3 games.
It’s incredible what a six-game winning streak can do, and the Hawks aim to continue their magical run tonight with a home contest against the Oklahoma City Thunder before hitting the road for eight straight games against Western Conference opponents.