|The Hawks will either be 5th or 7th in the Eastern Conference (NBA.com).|
With two games remaining the Hawks still face uncertainty heading in to the playoffs.
As we come to the final two nights of the 2016-17 NBA season, the Atlanta Hawks still don’t know for certain who they will face this weekend in the opening round of the playoffs. Heres what is known though, no matter who they face, the first two games will be on the road and the team will be heavy underdogs. Currently the Hawks sit at 42-38, good for fifth place in the East. It has been a very bumpy road to this point that has been filled with many ups and downs. After a 9-2 start, the bottom fell out and the team dropped 10 of their next 11 games. After that they would go on to go 20-9 over the next 29 to get to 30-21 with the three seed still in sight. That’s when the injury bug crept in. Injuries to several key players caused another downfall which led to a 9-17 period in where the possibility of not making the playoffs even came in to play. After a dreadful contest in Brooklyn on April 2nd, making the playoffs very was much in doubt. To further complicate things, the schedule makers did no favors with a three game in four night stretch featuring the top two teams in the East. Miraculously, the Hawks swept the three game stretch and are now closing in on the five seed.
Win one or both of the final two games: Five Seed
Lose both but Bucks lose @ Boston: Five Seed
Lose both but Bucks win @ Boston: Seven Seed
In short, all the Hawks have to do is win versus a Charlotte team that will not have Kemba Walker to secure the five seed.
Who will we play?
Five Seed: Washington
Seven Seed: Boston or Cleveland
Although late last week it appeared that Cleveland had all but wrapped the one seed, the back to back losses to Atlanta reopened the door for the Celtics. The Celtics will clinch the one seed with a win vs the Bucks or a Cavs loss to the Raptors on Wednesday. It’s appearing very likely that the Hawks will face the Washington Wizards in the first round. It’s a tough matchup that was won by the Wizards 3-1 in the regular season. The one Hawks win came way back on opening night. But as we have seen, the Hawks are capable of literally anything. Good or bad.