This year's Atlanta Hawks team is the same one that we've seen fall in the second round of the playoffs for the last three seasons, but yet it's entirely different.
For starters, there is an older bench: more experienced, but less talented than previous ones. Then there's the rise of players like Marvin Williams and Jeff Teague.
It's the same corps Hawks fans have come to love, but hate at the same time. After the Hawks lost a 19-point lead to the Chicago Bulls, it's easy to see why there is a love-hate relationship in Atlanta.
However gut-wrenching the loss to Chicago was, the Hawks are more competitive than they've been since the '80s. This year's team should be better than any Hawks team we've seen with this corps. Here are the positive signs that indicate just how upward the Hawks are trending.