4/11 UPDATE: Breaking Down the Race for the #3 Seed in the Eastern Conference


Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports Hawks G Jeff Teague drives to the hoop against Heat G Tyler Johnson














4/10 Update
Last Night’s Impactful Games
Wizards 113 Hornets 98
Heat 116 Magic 98

Charlotte has been eliminated from being able to reach the 3 seed and Atlanta can finish no lower than 5. Any combination of 2 Hawks wins or Heat losses will secure the 3 seed and Southeast Division Championship. 


Updated Standings
ATL 48-32 .600
BOS 47-33 .587
MIA 47-33 .587

4/11 Games to Watch
Hawks @ Cavs
Hornets @ Celtics

ESPN Projected Standings
ATL 49-33
BOS 48-34
MIA 48-34
Today a Hawks or Hornets win guarantees the Hawks home court in the 1st round. 

Remaining Schedules
ATL: @ Cavs @WAS
BOS: vs CHA vs MIA
MIA: @ DET @ BOS

Original Article

3/24 The Hawks are currently locked in a four team battle for the third seed in the Eastern Conference. Currently, the Atlanta Hawks stand at 43-30 with 9 games remaining in the regular season. As many of you know, Atlanta has went on a tear lately, winners of 12 of their last 15 games. But how have the other teams chasing the #3 seed fared? Lets take a view team by team at their remaining schedule.


ATLANTA HAWKS: 
Current Record: 42-30 8-2 Last 10
Remaining Schedule (Record against them this year): vs MIL (0-2), @DET (2-1), @CHI (3-0), @TOR (0-2), vs CLE (0-1), vs PHX (0-1), vs TOR (0-2) VS BOS (2-1), @ CLE (0-1), @WAS (2-1) 
Strength of Schedule: .546

MIAMI HEAT:
Current Record: 41-30 6-4 Last 10
vs ORL (1-0), vs BKN (2-1), @ LAL (1-0), @ SAC (1-0), @ POR (1-0), vs DET (0-2), vs CHI (3-0), @ ORL (1-0), vs ORL (1-0), @ DET (0-2), @BOS (0-2)
Strength of Schedule: .446

CHARLOTTE HORNETS:
Current Record: 41-30 8-2 Last 10
@ DET (2-0), @ MIL (2-1), @ PHI (2-0), vs PHI (2-0), @ CLE (1-2), @ TOR (1-1), @ NYK (2-1), vs BKN (3-0), @ WAS (2-1), @ BOS (0-2), vs ORL (2-1)
Strength of Schedule: .488

BOSTON CELTICS:
Current Record: 42-30 5-5 Last 10
@ PHX (1-0), @ LAC (1-0), @ POR (1-0), @ GSW (0-1), @ LAL (0-1), vs NOP (1-0), vs MIL (2-1), @ ATL (1-2), vs CHA (2-0), vs MIA (2-0)
Strength of Schedule: .486

 Streeter Lecka Getty Images: Celtics G Avery Bradley reacts to hitting a shot over Hornets G Jeremy Lin

Records against the other 3 teams this season: 
Atlanta :1-3 vs Miami, 3-1 vs Charlotte, 2-1 vs Boston
Miami: 3-1 vs Atlanta, 2-2 vs Charlotte, 0-2 vs Boston
Charlotte: 1-3 vs Atlanta, 2-2 vs Miami, 0-2 vs Boston
Boston: 1-2 vs Atlanta, 2-0 vs Miami, 2-0 vs Charlotte 

If two or more teams were to end up tied here’s the tie breaker basis via NBA.com

a. Two Teams Tied. In the case of a tie in regular-season records involving only two teams, the following criteria will be utilized in the following order:
  • (1) Better winning percentage in games against each other.
  • (2) Division winner (this criterion is applied regardless of whether the tied teams are in the same division).
  • (3) Better winning percentage against teams in own division (only if tied teams are in same division).
  • (4) Better winning percentage against teams in own conference.
  • (5) Better winning percentage against teams eligible for playoffs in own conference (including teams that finished the regular season tied for a playoff position).
  • (6) Better winning percentage against teams eligible for playoffs in opposite conference (including teams that finished the regular season tied for a playoff position).
  • (7) Better net result of total points scored less total points allowed against all opponents (“point differential”).
  • nba.com/playoffpicture

b. More Than Two Teams Tied. In the case of a tie in regular-season records involving more than two teams, the following criteria will be utilized in the following order:

  • (1) Division winner (this criterion is applied regardless of whether the tied teams are in the same division).
  • (2) Better winning percentage in all games among the tied teams.
  • (3) Better winning percentage against teams in own division (only if all tied teams are in same division).
  • (4) Better winning percentage against teams in own conference.
  • (5) Better winning percentage against teams eligible for playoffs in own conference (including teams that finished the regular season tied for a playoff position).
  • (6) Better net result of total points scored less total points allowed against all opponents (“point differential”).
  • nba.com/playoffpicture

Prediction: Here’s how I view the final standings finishing out amongst the four contenders.
3. Atlanta: 49-33
4. Miami: 48-34 
5. Boston 47-35
6. Charlotte 46-36

Although Atlanta owns the toughest schedule, the Hawks are playing the best basketball of the bunch. If any other team were to supplant us for the three seed, it would be the Miami Heat. Miami has a pretty easy schedule to finish the season with a few “cup-cake” home games. 


For the Boston Celtics and Charlotte Hornets on the other hand (Major props to Charlotte by the way, I did not expect them to be this good this season) are both either facing a West Coast Road Trip or a ton of road games in general. Overall, things are looking good for Hawks fans as we wind the season down. But also, for basketball fans in general with several other key playoff races that will come down to the final day. 

Phil Veasley 
@ATLHawksPhil
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Phil Veasley
Phil Veasley is a resident of Atlanta who has been a die-hard Hawks fan since 2005. He is Civil Engineer student at KSU. Currently, Phil writes for Atlanta Hawks Talk while also managing all ATLSportsHQ sites. He can be reached on Twitter at @_ATLPhil

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